Depth vs. Distance
Recently I was talking about life with a friend of many years. We were discussing how difficult it is today to maintain transparent relationships with everyone’s busy lives. It's tempting to be content with staying shallow. To this I responded, “Distance doesn’t have to determine depth.”
Isn't it interesting that you can meet face to face with someone many times and never feel as though you’re getting past emotional walls or layers of insecurity, yet you can talk to someone else a few times a year on the phone and go deep quickly? What causes this dynamic? Well, the very scenario disproves that it has to do with distance. It’s about depth and choice.
We can certainly allow physical distance to determine the depth of a relationship. How often have we heard or experienced, “Well, after they moved it was just never the same?” The same can be said when a neighbor moves across town. “Never the same” is a choice just as "not opening up" is a choice.
People who live in the same house for years can grow apart while strangers in two different countries can grow close via email. Again, it’s not about distance, but depth.
Here are three challenges (and hopefully) encouragements for today . . .
1. While there are times when God has us remain friends with someone for a season, we must be sensitive to and proactive in maintaining the relationships that God has for us, no matter the proximity: next-door neighbors or twice-a-year, catch-up phone calls. The only way that iron can sharpen iron is through engagement.
2. Be intentional about being a man of depth and about growing in depth. Shallow people will never make deep friendships. Tweets and posts won’t replace care and concern anytime soon. We certainly see in Scripture how Christ worked daily to deepen His friendships in His circle. Why? Because community is was what we are created for and connection is how we grow. Go deep. Be deep. Express your faith in the deep end; don’t fear it in the shallow end.
3. Is there someone you need to see today? Call today? Shoot an email? Check on? Reconnect with? You might even think it’s about you at first, but then discover it’s really about them. Is there someone you need to go deep with? Is there someone who may need to go deep with you? Iron can only sharpen iron when it engages.
Created for community. Growth through connection. Change by commitment.
Words of wisdom are a stream that flows from a deep fountain. —Proverbs 18:4 CEV
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