Building relationships is a lost virtue in our society today. Guys ask girls out on dates via text messages, we make friends by clicking a button on a website and hoping the other person reciprocates, and despite all of our technological advances, we are becoming more and more isolated. One of the funniest examples I’ve seen of this lately is at Wal-Mart, where there were multiple cashiers with no lines (a miracle at any Wal-Mart in America), yet there was a long line of people waiting to use the self-checkout! They are saying, “I’d rather wait longer in line to do it myself than to interact with another human being.” Amazing stuff!
Now, I will confess, I am an introvert by nature. By nature, that is in my flesh, I have no desire to talk to or interact with others. Needless to say, this would limit the impact that God wants my life to have. Can you imagine if Jesus had been an introvert? What if He didn’t go out in public because He didn’t want to be bothered. What if He avoided eye contact with others, so He wouldn’t have to speak to them?
However, when we look at the example laid out by Jesus in Scripture, we don’t have a lot of excuses for our own shortcomings. Jesus was a highly relational person. He was always seeking out others to introduce Himself, to confront them with truth. If you and I hope to be effective witnesses, as we have been commanded to be, we need to be highly relational, as well. For me, this goes against every fiber of my being, but, fortunately, I have a greater desire to be like Jesus. I cannot hope to make a difference, to make an impact, if I’m not willing to spend time and resources developing relationships.
While Jesus spoke to multitudes, He changed lives one-on-one. The woman at the well—Nicodemus, Zacchaeus, the list goes on. He spent personal time with them, developed a relationship and shared truth with them. Do you have people who you’re working on getting to Jesus? It begins with developing a relationship. Now, don’t get me wrong, we can give the truth of the gospel to people with no relationship, but we place ourselves at a greater advantage with those we know well.
Who has God put on your heart today? Reach out! It feels awkward at first, especially for us introverts, but it’s worth it!