"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."1
There is deep within the heart and soul of every one of us a need and longing to belong. The one who has no sense of belonging and being connected in relationship to at least one meaningful companion or friend, is more likely than not to become physically ill, depressed, a patient in a mental institution, or even suicidal. It may not be the most desirable but we can live without being in a romantic relationship, but we cannot live healthily without having at least one (and preferably more) healthy relationships.
Not belonging, not feeling loved and accepted and/or being rejected can be one of life's most painful experiences. Ralph Keyes in his book Is There Life after High School? writes that Mia Farrow has never forgotten the time every girl but Mia was asked to dance. Nor did Charles Schulz of "Peanuts" cartoon fame ever forget that the yearbook staff rejected his every cartoon. Movie actress Ali McGraw confesses she doesn't forget the fact that she never had one date in all of high school. Henry Kissinger is best remembered by his classmates as the kid nobody wanted to eat lunch with at school."2
And perhaps many of us can remember when kids were choosing teams and we were the last one to be chosen. It was pretty devastating.
As I've said many times if Jesus, when on earth, needed close friendly relationships, how much more do we need them? Speaking personally, one of the best places I have found to find healthy connections and friendships is in a healthy, non-judgmental, non-legalistic, loving, God-fearing (respecting) church.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have created me for relationships. Please help me first to be a good friend and then find a few loving relationships to get legitimate needs met in healthy ways. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Hebrews 10:25 (NLT).
2. Donald B. Strobe, Collected Words. Cited on www.Sermons.com.
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