When God puts people in our lives and us in theirs, it’s always for a specific reason, however long or short. To reflect His light.
‘But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other…’ — 1 John 1:7a NLT
To fellowship and connect with each other effectively, to shine His light means; to compassionately love on the people He brings us in contact with unconditionally, in spite of them, flaws and all, even if they don’t appreciate us. The same way God loves us, in spite of us, flaws and all, even when we didn’t/don’t love Him.
‘But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.’ — Romans 5:8
‘This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.’ — 1 John 4:10
Fellow-shipping and connecting effectively mean shutting down every form of ego and doing away with every sense of entitlement. The moment these two start to play a part, we give the enemy a foothold to sew seeds of discord that potentially throw us off our assignment — shining His light. This is primarily why most friendships and connections get broken. And if you’re unable to recognize this plan of the enemy, it’ll play out in every connection you make.
We believe we’re made up of what we go through. In a sense, this statement means:
In life, we start out being whole and then get broken down or chipped away at because of what we go through; we believe we’re the way we are — what’s left of us after the chipped away pieces — as a result of the experiences we have with people and circumstances we find ourselves in.
Be that as it may, we need to start believing instead, that we’re so much more than our experiences and circumstances. That our experiences happen for us and others in the long run, not to us. That our circumstances are temporal and eventually pass. If only we’d focus on this and understand, we’d see that the reason we’re sent to each other is to help restore each other. To help mend each other. To help piece each other back together.
‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.’ — 1 Thessalonians 5:11
What the former mindset does is, the more we think that way, the more likely we are to feel broken, to always look at the glass empty. The latter mindset however, reminds us of who we are and gives us a glass half full — or even completely full — outlook on life. The more we think this way, the more whole we’d be, the more enabled we’d be to encourage people who feel broken into wholeness, shining God’s light to them; these people that God puts in our lives and vice versa, for however long or short — for God’s glory.
‘In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’ — Matthew 5:16
The enemy knows this is God’s intent for relationships, friendships, connections and so he tries very hard to prevent it by deceiving and veering us off course; thus causing us to not only fail in our duty to others, but also to miss out on their duty to us and essentially try to steal glory for himself. He uses ego, entitlement, betrayal, jealousy, spite amongst other devices. So if the connections you make always feature these fellowship destroying tools, know that it’s the enemy at work.
‘Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour. ‘ — 1 Peter 5:8
He really is cunning, the enemy. So there are levels to his schemes. Beyond the obvious tools earlier stated, he goes on to make you feel the need to “protect your positive energy” above maintaining connections. And that might seem understandable. But does this stance promote God’s intention? Do our personal perspectives align with God’s perspective when it comes to ourselves and our fellowship with others? Are we able to, by any power we think we have, actually “protect” our energies or selves?
‘apart from me you can do nothing.’ — John 15:5b
Anyone ever said the words “I can’t deal with this person’s negativity”, or “bad energy stay far away”? No? Yes?
The enemy uses popular culture to try to set the standard when it comes to connecting with people. That we should think this way and put ourselves first, because if we don’t, we get taken for a fool, taken for granted, mugged off, disrespected… we get our ”egos” bruised and “entitlements” disregarded. It’s interesting how pop culture actively tries to work against all that Jesus Christ stands for.
‘There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell.’ — Proverbs 14:12
I’m just saying, didn’t Christ, though also God, humble himself to the lowest just for our salvation? Are we not called to imitate Christ in humility, to regard others over ourselves?
‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!’ — Philippians 2:3-8
And then, he’d use his most cowardly tact, attack you from when you’re a child, when you’re most vulnerable so that he can try to get you to define yourself out of God’s context. He’d use child abuse, child neglect, condemnation, peer pressure and bad influences, lack of understanding, exposure to R Rated content, to wean us into vicious sinful cycles so that when we grow up, we won’t depart from them. So that because we’ve been informed almost all our lives by his cunning tacts, when we meet people in this seasoned state, we’d project this broken nature into our connections instead of shine God’s light.
But the devil is a liar. Confirmed. The enemy has been exposed.
I want to ask, what if we turned to The Original Standard Giver when it comes to all things, even making connections? What if we embrace the bad energy we ask to stay far away?
Just in case we’d rather maintain our sanity at the cost of losing the connections God deliberately puts us in, to teach us lessons — with people we ought to be blessings to and receive blessings from —; can I just point out that our positivity, good energy, our light, is what these so called “bad energy possessing connections” need?
Let me try to enabledly explain.
The real test of our “positivity” and how good a friend, spouse, colleague, neighbour, acquaintance, partner we are, is when we’re able to transform people for good as we ourselves are being transformed. Light doesn’t shine in light. Light overcomes darkness.
‘In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ — John 1:4-5
By this, I mean, leave a lasting impact on others that alters their perspective and creates a paradigm shift in their lives, causing them to be better than they were before we met them. Be Light!… and even when you don’t get light back from these connections, don’t focus on ego and entitlement. Because if you’re plugged to The Source, you never have to worry about running out of light. It’s better than 24/7 NEPA (electricity, for my world wide engagers).
Now, I’m not saying that being light and a good friend or person in general won’t come without challenges. In fact, I’m saying that it isn’t always the easiest task because just as much as it takes effort, support, love, kindness, selflessness and all that good stuff, it also takes being firm, setting standards and boundaries, correcting in love, allowing people time to process things, telling them the truth, even when it’s bitter… and we all know how tough a pill the truth can be to swallow.
I’m certain God knows the challenges that come with being light to others. That’s why He asks us to forgive as many times, because He forgives us as many times as we ask and turn away from sin.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV
God being the source and creator of all things, fellowship, connections, friendships, relationships, acquaintance-ships included, puts His light in us as a template to effectively carry out our duties to each other. It applies even more so when we have to be humble, patient with each other, in our shortcomings — knowing that we ourselves aren’t perfect — and regarding of others over ourselves.
‘God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.’
1 John 1:5b-7
I’m triggered by this post and praying for you and me, that we receive the grace to be the positive side of the battery that attracts and embraces the negative, thereby sparking up power.
Disclaimer: I’m not a science student so kindly forgive my analogy. But you get the point.