Meeting Those In Need

Well, hey, thanks again for sending in questions about our sermons. The question this week comes from the sermon last week where I encouraged people if if you don’t have any relationships with people who are in need, to stop insulating yourself and develop some of those relationships. So the question is, how would we develop relationships with somebody in need? And if we’re going out intentionally trying to find people who are in need and develop relationships with them, won’t they feel like some kind of project of ours? And is that really the best way to start a relationship?

And so the first thing I would say is we never develop relationships with somebody in order for them to be a project. We develop relationships with somebody because we genuinely want to connect with others and love them and get to know them. And as Christians, serve them whether they are in need or not, right? Or we all have certain needs of love and approval and appreciation and gratitude. And so we all have those kind of needs.

So anybody that we’re meeting, we’re always on the lookout of what kind of needs can we meet? How can I serve you? I just love people because God loves people and let me serve you. So hopefully anybody in need wouldn’t feel like any type of more of a project than somebody else. That’s one thing.

But the second thing, how would we actually develop relationships with people in need? I would say, how do you develop any other relationship in your life? If you go to work, if you come to church, if you’re at a wedding, if you’re at a graduation of party of somebody else. As you meet people, you’re waiting in line, getting your oil changed. Like you meet people out in the world, right?

And I know a lot of us here in this area, especially at this time right now, aren’t getting out to meet a lot of other people. But what often happens as we meet people, if we’re in a group gathering or at work, we kind of gravitate toward people who are just like us. It’s just what happens. Sociologists call this the homogeneous unit principle. We merge with people who look like us and talk like us or from the same socioeconomic status as us.

That’s just natural. And so if we’re trying to develop relationships with people who are not like us, we really have to fight that. And instead of being in these gatherings where we would gravitate toward people who are like us, the first step would be just realize that’s going on. Say, oh, I understand why I’m kind of talking to this person more than I’m talking to that person over there. And once you realize that, fight against it and go talk with a person who is not like you, put in the effort.

Swim upstream a little bit and get to know somebody outside of your actual bubble. We all make decisions about the kind of places where we go, the kind of activities that we do, and the more activities that we choose to do can put us into a position to meet people who are not like us. If you’re putting your kids into a sports league, maybe choose the sports league that is in an area of town that is not like your area of town. If you’re wondering what to do with your free time, instead of maybe going to play racquetball with the people who you’ve always met, maybe come to church and serve at an event, that puts you in the space of people who are not like people that you would normally hang out with. Right.

We choose what activities to do, and then when we choose the activity and we’re there, we can choose who we gravitate toward. It’s going to be people like us or people not like us. So those are just a couple of ideas. Obviously, developing relationships takes a while. They say you can’t make old friends, right?

But you can start. And so that’s what we’re talking about. We’re talking about starting relationships. Well, hey, thanks again for sending in your questions. We appreciate even more next week.