Weekly Devotional 021924

To Know and Be Known

by Jane Josephs

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.”  –Psalm 139:1

For Christmas this year I got a book by New York Times bestselling author David Brooks titled: How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen. I requested the book for a couple of reasons, but the main one is that I’m challenged by the thought that although I have many friends, I often feel as if I don’t really know them well. We attend Bible study together, sometimes travel together, and frequently see each other socially. But do I know them? Do they know me?

The need for connection resides in all of us. We were created with this need to know and be known. God knew it and fashioned a helpmate for Adam. “It is not good for the man to be alone,” He said (Gen. 2:18). So why is it then that nearly one in four adults around the world feels fairly to very lonely? There are plenty of people in the world. What’s the problem?

According to Brooks, “We live in an environment in which political animosities, technological dehumanization, and social breakdown undermine connection, strain friendships, erase intimacy, and foster distrust… It is as if people across society have lost the ability to see and understand one another…”

Thank the good Lord, the Bible offers us hope and many beautiful examples of a different environment and a better way. The Apostle Paul models what it is to be a true friend in his relationship to Timothy, his “dear son.” He constantly prayed for this young man, longed to see him when they were apart, and used every opportunity to build him up and encourage him to “fan into flame the gift of God which is in you…”  (2 Tim. 1:6). Theirs was a relationship built on the firmest and best foundation—Jesus himself.

Opening ourselves to be known by God and others takes time, courage, and commitment. It often takes being willing to be vulnerable. But oh, the rewards and the blessings!

Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of Your Son Jesus, who modeled true friendship for us. Help us be true friends to one another and to reach out to a lost and lonely world with Your love and kindness. Amen.

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