Connections only go as deep as you
You send somebody a quick text message. They reply back (which is always a good thing – no one likes getting ignored) but you notice that their reply seems kinda “short” so you think to yourself…
“Hmmm, did I do something to offend this person?”
Believing the worst, you text back something “short” as well and before you know it, you both are going back and forth with messages that can only be described as borderline rude (or at least that’s how you see it).
Eventually you get tired of the back and forth and decide to call them to find out what the #$%^& their problem is… only to find out that they were in the middle of something when you were texting them and so rather than ignore you, they wanted to send you some sort of response to let you know they care. 🤦♂️
Text messages, emails, direct messages, and the like can easily get lost in the translation when you aren’t able to see a person’s face or hear their voice.
And this is why, of course, as COVID restrictions start to get lifted we find ourselves in this euphoria because FINALLY we are free to start seeking out face-to-face connections once again. 🙌
So with the rediscovery of in-person face-to-face encounters you might think to yourself, “What do I need online connections and communities for? Aren’t they just a cheap substitute for the real thing?”
And while this line of thought seems rather logical on the surface, don’t fall into the trap of thinking just because you’re meeting someone face to face that your connection is any better than if you had met them online.
The quality of our relationships and connections is not determined by our proximity.
The quality of our relations and connections is determined by our commitment to transparency and intimacy.
You can meet with someone face to face every day of the week, every week of the month and every month of the year but if one (or both) of you are unwilling to really go deep and get vulnerable then that face to face connection is about as surface level as your last Facebook post.
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Yes, face to face is awesome. Seeing someone in front of you, being able to read their facial expressions, hear their voice… it’s something unique and absolutely desirable.
But don’t fall into the trap of believing just because you’re now face to face that you’ve built something special.
What determines the uniqueness and value of that relationship is going to be how willing you are to dive into the realities of your life.
Some of us are very fortunate to have deep quality relationships with people that we can meet in person. However, many of us don’t because when we go to our churches and small groups we feel hemmed in and not really able to share some of the dark and deep burdens we carry on a daily basis.
So my encouragement to you would be to NOT seek out relationships and connections based on the proximity, but rather on the depth you’re allowed to go with those people.
In-person, online, with video or without… at the end of the day it doesn’t matter.
You can have truly deep and meaningful relationships that are life-giving, encouraging, and sustaining if both of you are equally committed to the principles of absolute transparency and vulnerability.
Go deep with those connections, wherever you may need to find them.
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