Colossians 3:12-13 NIV
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
These past two years of pandemic, quarantine, and “stay-at-home” orders didn’t do much in the area of connection for this world. It seems we as a people have forgotten how to connect with others. We spent so much time behind computer screens and closed doors, that now while we are “allowed” to go out and interact with others…it seems like a foreign and unknown thing to us.
Just this past weekend, there was a speaker coming to our area and I really wanted to go and hear her speak. I bought the tickets, invited some friends, scheduled it on my calendar…but then the day came and I almost felt anxiety about being in community with hundreds of people I didn’t know. I felt overwhelmed. I felt worried. It was the oddest thing, especially since people describe me as the most extroverted extrovert they have ever met! It was a strange feeling for me. I wasn’t quite sure how to process how I was feeling. All I did know was that I NEEDED TO GO! Every fiber of my being told me, don’t back out!
In those moments, I remembered the scripture I had been given for 21 Days of Prayer…so I reflected on Colossians 3:12-13 a bit that day and remembered…I am chosen and loved by God, He has a purpose for me. He gives me everything I need to encounter His people with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. He reminded me through these verses that being in community with people isn’t hard and it isn’t a lost art. It is a calling on each of us.
He reminded me that connecting with people and displaying His characteristics is how I can share Him with others. And to do that, I have to get out there and connect!
So, I did. I sucked it up. And I am so glad I did. The speaker was amazing. I learned a lot from her in her 45 minute talk. I met new friends. I bumped into old friends I hadn’t seen in over a decade. Had a wonderful time of connecting with my husband and friends. It was amazing. And all the while, I had this message on my heart…wear (clothe myself) in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. And forgive others as I have already been forgiven.
I’m excited that the world is coming out from behind the closed doors and screens. I am excited for face-to-face connections with people as God designed it. I am excited for the growth and knowledge we experience through connection with people and connection with Jesus. We just need to remember to dress ourselves daily as He does…with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience…OH, and don’t forget forgiveness!
So get out there today and every day and connect!
Prayer: Gracious Heavenly Father, I thank you for your gift of connection. I thank you for the people you will bring into our paths each day and I thank you for loving us so much that you trust us to treat your children with these characteristics. Please guide us in our encounters. Guide our words and our actions so that the people we come across see more of you and less of us. We love you and we praise you.