We direct ourselves and other Christians to adapt to God’s ways. We address the need for His will and His direction for our lives and how we are to love Him. This being by faith not works but not forgetting that faith without works is dead. But. Let me challenge your thinking a bit that Christ coming to us, our celebrations of Christmas in Him and Easter in Him is… the Lord actually adapting to us! His adapting allowed for connection or maybe I should say reconnection with Him. We were made to be in right standing with the Father through Christ’s adaption to humankind. He became human. He needed His diaper changed, He needed hand feed, and He required someone to bathe Him… Our Creator came yes as a babe but as a babe, He required all the things a sweet little snotting baby needs…
Relationships require mutual adaptation and as in all things He set the example and our relationship with the Father is in no less need for adapting on both sides, His and ours.
If we focus on our adapting to others it allows us the opportunity to feel superior. It is more uncomfortable to acknowledge others adapting to us… let me clear things up if there is a question here, others adapt to us as much as we adapt to others. That doesn’t feel as nice.
“Deal with” or “tolerate” are also words to take the place of adapt for others towards us and those ideas are even less warm and fuzzy. Others around me, those who stick around and adapt tolerate or deal with my irritating qualities and I know full and well I have some of those… such as the frustrating way I need to be on time so let’s not put a time frame on things you might want to have less pressure in experiencing or my aversion to the word moist, stepping on cracks, mouth noises, repetitive sounds, loud startling things, or tin foil. I could go in but I think you have the point. I should probably add my grumpiness when I don’t feel well, my attitude toward unwanted change, and the way my hair sheds constantly everywhere I go… it’s just so much, all the hair all the places… those who love me or are forced for whatever reason to be around me adjust to my quirks, my weaknesses, but also my strengths.
We don’t have to be like one another to be connected and able to develop healthy loving effective relationships. We can celebrate our differences and have compassion for other’s struggles and for our own struggles. Often, we have compassion for other’s struggles and intolerance for our own. Something may be easy for us and a struggle for someone else and we must be careful to not project our expectations for ourselves on to someone else or be careful to not measure someone else’s abilities or situations against the measuring rod we hold up to ourselves.
What does adapting today look like? I’m so glad you asked…
Perhaps you are currently putting up with a relative you don’t like that is visiting or a coworker you must work with closely but you don’t see eye to eye. Congratulations! This might not feel very noble or notable at all but adapting is God-like or in the nature of the Father so much so that He has laid down examples that can be read nearly anywhere in the gospels.
We are capable of both accommodating other’s needs because they have value and its kind and good to do so and adapt to those we care about, must work with, or are around for lengthy amounts of time. Plus, adapting is kind and generous and our world could use a little more kindness…
“If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.”
– Thomas Edison.
- Some things we can practically do is listen more than we speak…
- Don’t micromanage in a way to conveys others skills and talents are not valuable or appreciated… be aware of how we communicate to others.
- Make an effort to “give lilies to the living” and by that I mean let people know what they mean to you and tell them the kind things you think and don’t say because well …feelings are gross… feelings arent gross, they may be uncomfortable but they are beautiful, gifts, natural, healthy, and meant for our good… even anger… even fear…
- Find out what people’s needs are and see what you are capable of doing to help meet those needs. Too often we only help when there’s a return on our investment. This is not how we hope to be treated.
- Be sincere.
- When we do… the who, the what, the how, and the why all matter.
In a perfect world, we would go about our business and all would connect and interlace smoothly. There would be no hiccups, sneezes, speed bumps, or garbage trucks. We don’t live in a perfect world… its more of a dirty, dumpster fire of brokenness. If you want to connect to by others then find ways to connect to others first and give as an investment in a world where so many take… Something special will be waiting for you.