What relationships do you want to invest in this year?
Starved for relationship. Have you ever been there? I feel like that’s been me off and on the last several years. It’s not really anyone else’s fault. It’s a symptom of busyness and life transition and leadership responsibilities and even the fact that I’m an introvert, so it’s very easy for me to spend time alone. Not a bad thing, in the right balance. The thing is, it’s dangerous to be without healthy relationships in your life. It’s not good for you, or for those you serve. I spent some time this past year getting my feet under me. Now I’m asking God: what relationships do you want me to invest in this year? Who should I be serving? Who should I be learning from? Who should I be hanging out with?
This post was originally shared on the Real World Bible Study
This page contains affiliate links – they don’t cost you a penny, but they sure help to pay off those student loans! For more information, please see my disclosure page. Also, I received a review copy of this book; all opinions are my own.
Ever been jealous of a book character? I have.
Honestly, I love reading The Vintage Wren (Chautona Havig’s serial novel which I reviewed here), but I’m also a little jealous of Cassie’s friendships, even with all their very human mistakes. So it was intentional to sign up to review The Lost Art of Relationship, to try to put some more focus on that area of my life. Y’all. It’s good. It was convicting. And I’m going to need to go back and “slow read” certain parts of it so that I can work through them, especially as I think and pray (need more of that) about what relationships I want to invest in this year.
Why You Should Read The Lost Art of Relationship
The Lost Art of Relationship is easy to read in the technical sense (not always in the emotional sense! Some soul work may be required). It’s Scripturally grounded, and the translations used are good ones and easy to understand. (I’ve talked about why translations in books can be an issue before). This book is well-organized. It’s designed to be read straight through, but it will be easy for me to go find the places I want to work on. I think that’s critical in a book like this.
I really enjoyed the anecdotes. They were on-topic and didn’t waste words, but they helped me identify with the author and also put “clothes” on the teaching, see how it would play out in real life. (Funny business…through those anecdotes I realized that we actually distantly know some people in common. It’s a small world.). As a pastor working on building healthy relationships, I especially appreciated that some of the stories come from Pastor Dan’s pastoral experience. I definitely recommend this book to anyone, whether you have strong relationships and want to improve, or like me, you’ve been a little thirsty in this area. This one should go on your must-read list.
There’s a place between being unhealthy and overcommitted serving everyone, and being distant from all relationships. I haven’t found that place in awhile. I tend to swing towards one or the other extreme, and neither is healthy. Neither is what God has called us to. It’s a work in progress, but a work I’m being intentional about. The three relationships I want to invest in this year: my new mentor, some fellow-pastor friends, and my coworkers at my day job. What relationships do you want to invest in this year?
The Lost Art of Relationship is on Tour with Celebrate Lit!
About the Book
Title: The Lost Art of Relationship
Author: Dan Chrystal
Genre: Christian non-fiction, Christian living
Release date: October 15, 2018
Relationship is a journey of discovery—a lost art. In this generation, it has become challenging to deepen and grow personal relationships with each other. Our technology-flooded environment has left many with limited relational experience and a fear of face-to-face connection and meeting new people.
The church has done a decent job of helping people understand the need and importance of a relationship with God, but what about with each other? At the heart of every man, woman, and child is the need for connection—for relationships with people who love them for who they are.
In The Lost Art of Relationship, Dan Chrystal tackles the heart of relationship based on the time-honored instruction to “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” But what does that mean? How do we live out this odd instruction? Who is my neighbor, anyway? What makes relationships healthy, and what makes them fail? Through Dan’s personal stories and difficult life lessons, readers will come away encouraged, inspired, and motivated to love the people in their life more fully. If you desire deep and meaningful connections, now is the time to discover the lost art of relationship.
Click here to get your copy!
“Choose a good reputation over great riches.” (Proverbs 22:1)
Guest post from Dan
For two years, I experienced what many would call a “wilderness experience.” I truly felt forgotten. I had spent twenty years in various aspects of church work having met and coached hundreds of people, and I still felt like I didn’t truly understand why I was put on this earth. I have moved nine times in my adult life. Everywhere I’ve lived, I had to start over—at work, home, schools for kids, and especially in relationship with others.
The last move was different. This time I was no longer looking to connect simply for the sake of connecting. There was a purpose for connection that was brewing inside me. That purpose became the driving force of my life and remains that way today. In fact, it consumes my thought life, relationships, ministry, and every aspect of what I do, think, and say.
Connecting with others has been a part of my life wherever I have gone. This came from watching my mom over many years meet, talk to, and befriend hundreds of people. At her funeral, I had just about that many tell me “thank you” for allowing my mom to be a part of their lives—how she encouraged them and truly got to know them for who they are.
During my two-year “wilderness” period, there was a realization that over all the moves, restarts, connections, coffee appointments, coaching, lunches, and dinners with people, I was learning the essence of what I believe we are called, or actually commanded, to do by Jesus. Such a simple sentence, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” However, it is one of the most difficult things to live out every day. Let’s face it; relationships are messy. They can be downright frustrating at times, but they are a necessary part of life, and the second most important thing to God.
I am by no means an “expert” in relationship. I am and always will be a student of it. I have watched relationships thrive, survive, and some fall away. There are so many divisions that come between us, and during those two years of struggling with my purpose, it became clear—God has designed, purposed, and prepared me to help others discover what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. I am not perfect at this. As a matter of fact, I struggle—sometimes daily. That is what sparked the writing of this book. I have found there is an art to relationship. For most, it is a lost art, one that can be rediscovered. I would love it if you would join me in discovering The Lost Art of Relationship.
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 19
Robin is Bookish, January 20
The Becca Files, January 20
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 21
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 22
Creating Romance, January 22
Real World Bible Study, January 23
Mary Hake, January 24
Captive Dreams Window, January 25
Bigreadersite, January 25
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 26
margaret kazmierczak, January 26
Bibliophile Reviews, January 27
Texas Book-aholic, January 28
Just the Write Escape, January 29
A Baker’s Perspective, January 30
Janices book reviews, January 31
Book World Reviews, February 1
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 1