I will admit it. I am not naturally drawn to reach out to people around me.
I am partly introverted. So while I can be quite animated with those I am close to, I am very shy in crowds of new people.
This can lend itself to loneliness as I sit back hoping that someone will reach out to me and befriend me.
But I have discovered something recently: reaching out isn’t about me. It isn’t about meeting that need that nags at my soul for kinship and relationship, or satisfying that thirst to feel like I belong somewhere.
In recent weeks, I have opened up to those around me and shared about my deep and painful struggle with loneliness. Do you know what I’ve discovered? I am not alone. Every person I have shared with told me that they have had the exact same struggle. I find it peculiar that so many people sense an unmet need in their life for interpersonal relationship and yet are surrounded by people wherever they go.
Perhaps some of them are like me – waiting for someone else to reach out first.
Reaching out isn’t about us – it’s about others.
We need to approach relationship building from an unselfish perspective. Building relationships, mentorship, and discipleship isn’t about meeting our needs or building our ministry; it’s about meeting others’ needs and building the kingdom of God!
So often we grow myopic to the point that we can no longer see beyond our own selves to the deeper needs and more gaping wounds of those around us. It is in times like these that we must go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to adjust our vision so our focus outward becomes clearer and our focus inward comes into proper perspective.
When our own needs occupy their proper place in priority, we are free to recognize the needs of those around us and reach out to them selflessly, with no strings attached. Our actions are no longer needy and our message is no longer manipulative. They become a simple act of becoming Jesus’ hands reaching out to those He longs to touch through us.
Jesus’ ministry wasn’t about gathering buddies around Him or building a ministry. His ministry was about meeting needs.
I challenge you today to look around you with a fresh pair of eyes. See the needy and hurting in your own sphere of influence. Ask the Lord for arms to reach out with selfless love that heals and restores.
This is what the church is all about! Reaching out is not about me, it’s about Jesus; it’s about extending His touch the world, it’s about building the kingdom one person at a time!
Rosilind, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her Bosnian hero. Together they live in the country with their 2 active boys where she enjoys fruity candles, good coffee and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. Her passion for writing led her to author her best-selling book "The Missional Handbook. At A Little R & R she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. You can also find her at Missional Call where she shares her passion for local and global missions. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.
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