"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Koinonia (Coin-Na-knee-uh)

Relationship: a connection, association, or involvement. An emotional or other connection between people: the relationship between teachers and students. Connection between persons by blood or marriage. 

What do your relationships say about you?

In Greek the term for relationship is Koinonia, a derivative of koinos; the word for common. Koinonia has a multitude of meanings that cannot be defined by one English word, but the common theme in all of the definitions is relationship. The relationship is twofold: the inner relationship with ourselves that is defined by goodness toward virtue and an outer goodness toward social relationships. 

Biblically the term Koinonia refers to communion by intimate participation. In the New Testament of the Bible it was used to describe the relationship within the Early Christian church, and to describe the act of breaking bread in the manner which Christ prescribed during the Passover meal. As a result the word Koinonia is used within the Christian Church to participate in the Communion of Communion.

When reflecting upon the Greek term for relationship I'm drawn to its Biblical meaning; communion by intimate participation. The words communion and intimate eliminates a shallow or superficial type of participation. Many of the relationships we find ourselves into today, if were honest, are very shallow and superficial. They have very little value and even less impact.

I believe the main reason many of us have relationships that lack substance and strength isn't because we don't care about others, but because we find it difficult to take the necessary steps to engage in meaningful participation with others. To have a deep and meaningful relationship with another we have to decide to become vulnerable. Kerry and Chris Shook state in their book entitled "Love at Last Sight"; "It's awkward to expose your heart and feel completely vulnerable." 

I agree.

Many of us continue to do the same thing day in and day out because we have created habits that make us feel comfortable. The problem is that these habits deter us from growing and maturing. People buy things, eat things, achieve things and build things to protect themselves from the world seeing who they really are. These "band-aids" that we create with material possessions, desired upward mobile status, achievement, and even food, are more times than not there for the purpose of hiding hurt, insecurity and emptiness. 

Many people are more alone and scared than we could ever begin to imagine. 
Much of this loneliness and fear is because the world tells us that if we expose our hearts and share our true feelings that we run the risk of people not liking us. If they (the world) see the real us, with every fault, fear and failure that we entertain we increase our potential for rejection.

And if people reject "me" than I have no value; I don't count.

It is because of this fear of rejection many of us never realize the strength, beauty and sustaining power a deep and firmly rooted relationship can provide.

All healthy relationships have respect in common.

Finally, the classical Greek meaning for Koinonia means "to share in a thing." The kind of sharing that takes place when two or more people hold something in common. All of us have more than a few things in common. We were all born into this world and we will all die someday. We all have experienced hurt and we've hurt others. We all have dealt with failure and we all have experienced tremendous pain. We all have dreams, hopes and aspirations. We all like to be liked and fear rejection on some level. We all have a past, we all have a present and we all have a future. 

The good news is that with God we have a "future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11-14); the type of future and a hope that is based on God's Sovereign hand that is displayed through his mercy and grace in the transforming of our hearts and minds.

A renewed mind, a new spirit and a changed heart provides us with the potential to engage in richer and more meaningful relationships.

Relationships are about the heart, mind and spirit.

God spoke to this fact and to Ezekiel in the Old Testament instructing Ezekiel to share this message with the people of Israel:

"And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stoney heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do what I command." 
-Ezekiel 36:26-27

It was evident then, and it is evident now, by the words God spoke over 2000 years ago communicating His desire to aid us in having meaningful relationships; a meaningful and long lasting relationship with Him, and others. Relationships that are not based on fear and insecurity; relationships that are self giving and other centered.

He will provide the transformation in our heart and a transformation in the way we think. A new heart and a renewed mind is what God has to offer. He will provide us with His Spirit so as to be obedient and committed to His way of life. 

All we have to do is ask.

God will do the rest so we can finally rest, freeing us to experience relationships His way; full of love, consideration and forgiveness, with the focus being on the others not self, leaving us to experience relationships that lift the spirit, encourage the heart, and inspire the soul.

Now wouldn't it be great if that type of relationship became common.

Are you giving your best in all your relationships?

Four questions to ponder:

1. What do your relationships say about you?
2. What part of you or your heart are you purposefully hiding in your relationships with others that is keeping you from experiencing deep and meaningful friendships and relationships?
3. What are you prepared to do differently in the future that will increase your potential for deeper and more meaningful relationships?
4. What kind of relationship do you have with God? 

 sbb 28.9.11


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