The topic of connection is not a new one for Struggle to Victory. Just type the word “connect” or “connecting” or “connection” into the search box on the right hand side, and quite a few posts show up. Some, like No Man is an Island, directly addresses the topic of connection, while other posts address it indirectly or as a sub-topic.
The reason for this topic coming up so frequently lay with my belief that connection is crucial to finishing the race victoriously. Without connection, even people with great spiritual insight can still be turned from God.
In James 5: 13-20, James emphasizes the importance of connection to God and to other Christians. In this passage, connection specifically through prayer stands out as the way in which “a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.”
But the importance of connection shows up in a lot of other ways too. In his many letters, Paul continually expressed longing to be with those he knew would encourage him and who he knew supported him. And members of the early church met daily because they needed the encouragement to endure persecution that only connection with each other could bring.
Conversely, an avoidance of connection often indicates a larger problem. Jonah did his very best to avoid responsibility by running away and disconnecting. Moses gives another example of someone who ran away and disconnected in order to avoid the consequences of his mistakes. Fortunately, God still used them. Notably though, one got reconnected and went on to be used even more by God, and the other didn’t and was never heard from him again.
Not only does the importance of connection evidence itself in a person’s spiritual life, connection with others on a regular basis is crucial to a person’s physical health too.
On a very personal level, this melancholy introvert must deliberately seek out regular connection in order to keep depression, both a significantly mental and physical battle, at bay.
Need hard proof? Here’s what the experts at Psychology Today have to say about the importance of connection.
- Social connection improves physical health and psychological well-being.
- Lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.
- Strong social connection leads to a 50% increased chance of longevity.
- Social connection strengthens our immune system, helps us recover from disease faster, and may even lengthen our life.
- People who feel more connected to others have lower rates of anxiety and depression.
- People who feel more connected also have higher self-esteem, are more empathic to others, more trusting and cooperative and, as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them.
See the article Connect to Thrive for more startling information on the importance and power of connecting. Don’t you love it when scientific research supports what God’s Word has shown for so many years already?
As Christians, we are called to fellowship (connect) with one another regularly. Luke said of the early church, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42)
Just as Christianity grew out of connection among its individual members as they connected to Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9) and fellowshipped with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14), so too will the church be strengthened and grow in no other way but through connection and fellowship.
Connection creates a strong base that allows for greater effectiveness that is significant, long-term and sustainable. Want to increase your faith almost instantly? Connect with others. Want to feel more encouraged and motivated? Connect with others.
DISCUSSION: How has the importance of connection evidenced itself in your life?