New friends are the first indication that God is doing a new thing.
God always brings someone new into our lives when he wants to do a new thing. Let’s consider Esther meeting the King or Paul and Silas. We can also look at Elijah and Elisha. A new relationship always precedes a new season.
I met my wife 36 years ago, and my life changed forever. She opened my heart to new experiences that I would never have chosen for myself. A new relationship with Charlotte was a breath of fresh air for me. I regained my inspiration, and my spiritual growth exploded.
Meeting Charlotte changed everything – energy flooded my body; inspiration ignited my soul and spirit. The connection with Charlotte was like a restart in life.
Connection feeds our bodies. Studies suggest that the quantity and quality of our social relationships affect our physical and mental health and may even be a factor in determining how long we live. Hormones have a role in our attitudes, feelings, and emotions.
- Dopamine — The (good & bad) habit former. An incredible tool when used appropriately!
- Oxytocin — The hugging drug or “love hormone.” Oxytocin makes us social and builds relationships with trust and loving feelings.
- Serotonin — The “leadership hormone.” Heavily related to pride, loyalty, and status.
- Endorphins — The natural painkiller. The runner’s high!
I recently caught a new man crush. I saw this guy in the church foyer and wanted to get acquainted. I said, “Hello, you look like somebody I should know.” His name was Jason. Jason was a minister with a double side hustle and a heart after God’s presence. Jason and I connected immediately, and about a week later, we caught up for lunch. During lunch, Jason began asking questions, and without a plan, we stumbled into a full-blown mentoring session.
Four to five months have passed, and our families have connected into a spontaneous God-ordered covenant/friend relationship. Hanging out with Jason and his family is new. Our new relationship has spawned into eating together, playing family games, and worshiping at two separate church meetings. All the results of a new relationship.
A new relationship with Jason changed our schedules and paved a way for new experiences.
God created us for connection
Our creator knows that humans thrive in relationships.
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:18, NKJV)
Science confirms we need relationships. Even the Lone Ranger didn’t do it alone.
God commands that we:
- Love one another (John 13:34 (16 times)
- Be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10)
- Honor one another (Romans 12:10)
- Build up one another (Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- Care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25)
- Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
- Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- Exhort one another (Hebrews 3:13)
The church is the body of believers. Every person is made unique and has a significant gift.
Dare we say that you are – YOU-nique!
A NEW ENVIRONMENT
There are also significant health benefits to connecting with new friends. Loneliness is the negative side of not having good friends and has reached an all-time high.
According to a 2018 national survey by Cigna, loneliness levels have reached an all-time high, with nearly half of 20,000 U.S. adults reporting they sometimes or always feel alone. Forty percent of survey participants also said they sometimes or always feel that their relationships are not meaningful and feel isolated. Many suffer the ill effects of isolation due to the quarantine from the coronavirus.
Temporary loneliness helps us realize our fundamental need for connection, whereas chronic loneliness severely damages our emotional well-being. . For instance, people who feel lonely for lengthy periods, are more susceptible to adverse health outcomes like cognitive decline and heart disease.
Lacking close relationships is associated with a higher risk of dying. To avoid a higher risk of death, we must be open to new experiences, new people, new environments, and new seasons. For instance, a new job places you in a new environment, and in a new environment, you will discover unique gifts and talents.
Being with friends helps maintain your emotional equilibrium and secures your self-awareness. Creating shared experiences is wise and beneficial. Shared experiences improve the quality of our life, and life is better and healthier when we share our lives with others. Nothing is better than hanging with friends around the pool while waiting for the burgers to get off the grill.
“A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22, NKJV)
God wants to do a new thing in you and me.
So be on the lookout.
The next time someone wants to connect or meet you, say yes.
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