Was Jesus a social butterfly?
I could really use your help. Below are my thoughts for this weekend’s message. This is what I write first (all thoughts that come to my mind.) Then, I begin to organize them by putting them into points or practical pieces that people can relate to and adding stories/antidotes. Could you read over and give me more ideas, thoughts or scripture?
When you read the gospel accounts of Jesus Christ’s life, you get a picture of His encounter with everyday people. He was bold and yet sensitive. Powerful and humble. Influential and personal. Jesus seems to be God not only because He could walk on water, but also because he obtained every social trait we all desire. Looking across the extensive stories through out Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John we see an extremely balanced social role model.
Luke 2:52 says that Jesus grew or ‘increased’ in 4 ways. He increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Basically, He grew intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially. Let’s look only at the social part. Jesus, whom most of my readers will agree is God in the flesh, actually grew. When He was born in the manger, he was not fully developed. Why would the King of the World need to be socially proficient? Couldn’t He simply wave His hand and make people like Him? Sure, He had that power, but from the beginning of the world God has loved a true and authentic relationship with us. In order for Jesus to relate to us, He had to become like us in every way. He was a man that talked, laughed, cried, embraced, and everything else that was acceptable and normal to that culture.
The point of this post? He GREW in his social skills. Therefore, we must GROW in our social skills. What are you doing as a mature adult to grow your social skills? Why should we care about the status of our social skills when we feel like we are doing just fine the way we are?
We need to grow socially so that we can:
• Be healthy ourselves – our own health is contingent on relationships with others. God created us to thrive in relationship. To give and to receive can only happen when you are socially relating to others. God created the world so that it is powered by giving and receiving. So, for your OWN good you need to be in healthy social environments.
• To complete your tasks from God – to walk in God’s will and plan you need to Grow Socially. 1. We evangelize the world through social relationships. 2. We serve and love our neighbor through social relationships.
Jesus increased in His favor with Man. (socially). He had to make an impact with people. So, people had to want to be around Him. So, He had to relate and be appealing to them. Jesus made choices to be social and GROW relationally. God opens doors. We have to walk through them.
Jesus was not a Stiff – He couldn’t have been boring or dull. Examples of His preaching show that the message was always illustrated in detail. He used props and venues that were applicable to the culture.
Jesus was not a snob – He was not an elitist, prideful, or prejudiced. He dined with all sorts of people. He related to everyone. Even broke the rules to minister to someone that was interested in Him.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, which he subsequently extended to include his observations of humans’ innate curiosity.
He discovered that Humans need to
• feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group, such as clubs, office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, gangs (“Safety in numbers”), or small social connections (family members, intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues, confidants).
• love and be loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others.
In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and Clinical depression.
This need for belonging can often overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure; an anorexic, for example, ignores the need to eat and the security of health for a feeling of control and belonging.