“Compliance is Not Necessarily Connectedness.”
(originally posted on Facebook in 2016)
Since the Empowered to Connect Conference (now Hope for the Journey, read more here) in Nashville, a few weeks ago, I have been pondering the above statement. I am sure this statement has been shared before, I probably have read it many times. But THIS time was when it finally took root. I think this ETC conference was my 8th to attend and I attended the very first one which was in Nashville, years ago. Strange how some things do not impact you until THAT time He wants them to impact you.
I see this fleshed out with my own biological adult children and I see this with many of your adopted children. I see this in my adult friends and family and I see it in children of all ages. I also see this in ME.
Most of us can think back to our own relationships with our parents or caregivers, or maybe even our current relationships and begin to see how this impacts how we relate to them and/or how they relate to us and then how that impacts our other relationships.
Connectedness vs. Compliance
Some of us are more easily compliant than others. Sometimes we choose compliance to avoid conflict. Compliance is rooted more in do’s and don’ts and trying to please, possibly. Connectedness is rooted in the heart.
Sad to say, I see this within the Christian’s relationship with our heavenly Father, all too often. I tend to believe how you and I relate(d) with our own parents, or rather how they related to us, is more often than not, how you and I relate to our heavenly Father, now. AND this is often also how we relate to our children and spouse and all others.
What we know is what we do, unless we learn a better way.
When I am contacted by adoptive families in distress, with children (some deaf, some hearing) home 5, 6, 7 years, who suddenly begin to show anger, aggression, defiance when they never had before, I will now always think of the above statement, “Compliance is not necessarily connectedness.”
Let’s unpack this concept a little more for the sake of personal contemplation and introspection and from the perspective of our present, personal relationship with our heavenly Father.
Does it matter “why” you and I choose to obey our God? Does it matter what motivates us to obey Him?
Is obedience/ compliance ALL that He wants from us? Is this His greatest desire?
Or is what He desires most, connectedness…which results in our compliance/obedience, willingly, from our heart?
Suppose all of your and my obedience to our heavenly Father was fully motivated from a deep connectedness with Him?
How would the world surrounding us be impacted, differently?