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Friday, March 8, 2013

Learning to Thrive

To really enjoy life, enjoy it with someone else. From the creation story at the very beginning of the Bible to the final description of eternity with the Lord at the end of the Bible it is clear that God made us and all things in relationship.

When God created, God created two, a man and a woman. Throughout the Bible God calls individuals into community, into relationship with each other, into relationship with God, himself.

It seems to me then that God’s purpose is that we not only learn to live with others, but that we learn to thrive in relationship with others. What is the greatest commandment again? but to love God, and your neighbor as yourself.

My challenge to you, if this thought resonates with you, is to not merely try again on improving your existing relationships, but that you also reach out, perhaps to one who would benefit from your mentoring, to someone younger, or someone less experienced at your specialty. Make a new good friend. Thrive on the energy their life brings to your life.

How to improve your existing relationships? Basically, pretty much stop talking and start listening. Then let what you hear, not what you know, govern your next step. One of my facebook friends, a guy, posted this. Hey fellas, don’t you think it time to listen to your wife? She’s smarter than you. Jesus says it best, and more gently: Put others before yourself.

How to reach out as a mentor? Basically, pretty much stop talking and start listening, listening to the people around you, listening to their dreams and frustrations, listening for where a the helping hand of a servant friend (which is NOT a word of advice!!) could make a difference.

Basically, learning to thrive in relationships boils down, then, to spending less time with one’s own ideas and more time with the ideas of others. It requires facing one’s insecurities, momentarily stepping away from things and ways that provide comfort, and accepting the challenge to appreciate another just as he/she is.

To thrive, just go for it.

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