Deep and intimate personal relationships are not only an important part of life, they’re actually essential. Pastor John Ortberg shares several questions we can ask ourselves when seeking to cultivate deeper personal relationships.
Question 1: Am I creating space in my life for other people?
“It’s interesting. One of the spiritual gifts that is listed in the Bible is hospitality. That’s an actual spiritual gift. That willingness to make space for somebody is a core part of life and a core part of spirituality. In previous centuries, people lived in tiny cramped spaces, there was no such thing as privacy.”
John thinks for most of us, the challenge isn’t making physical space for others, it is about intentionally making time.
“Nobody who gets to the end of their life and climbed a lot of achievement ladders, but was relationally alone and empty led a good life. We have to be intentional about making room for others in our lives; we won’t just drift into it.”
Question 2: Do you have several people with whom you can share recreational activities?
“Often when we think about intimacy we think we have to go into deep emotional territory. That certainly can be the case, but interestingly enough, intimacy is mostly built on thousands of invitations to share a connection or a moment. It’s not built on huge, dramatic moments. It works best if you share an activity you like doing.”
Question 3: Do you see people as friends or resources?
“Because people’s lives are getting so crowded out, it’s easy for us to begin to look at other people simply as being useful to us. As soon as that happens, were missing the basic material of intimacy. For instance, people in the business world may have LinkedIn network of tons of people, but none of them are really friends.”
Maybe it’s time for you to be gut-level honest and ask God to show you how you can build relational intimacy in your life today?
John Ortberg is a pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. He is the bestselling author of many books including: Faith and Doubt, When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box, and God Is Closer Than You Think.
Key Scripture: Matthew 11:29
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