Be happy with those who are happy. Be sad with those who are sad. Live in peace with each other. Do not act or think with pride. Be happy to be with poor people. Keep yourself from thinking you are so wise.
Relationships are interesting. They can be the root of some of the most rewarding times in our lives. They can also be the most challenging and difficult times.
In recent months, Rick and I have had the opportunity to be involved in a couple “Pay It Forward” situations in which resources are dedicated towards helping someone else. Last night, we gathered with other people part of a “Pay It Forward” campaign sponsored by a company. Folks could share how they paid it forward. Some people were very emotional and touched by their experience. Most of these people helped a specific person and related a personal story. The last person to share was an employee. He had made more general investments to organizations. While his experience was noteworthy, he knows next time he will find a more personal situation.
Relationships have many caveats. A relationship will only develop as much as both parties allow it to grow. We can all probably think of a relationship that got held up because the other person halted it. Sometimes, we have to pick and choose which relationships we invest in the most. We can’t have the same level of vulnerability with everyone. My relationship with my spouse should be more invested. That’s why he’s my spouse. I also know there are some people I am more naturally drawn to than others. These friendships are closer. My introverted husband often reminds me that for him, relationships are harder than for extroverted people.
We don’t have to read very far into the Gospel accounts to discover quickly how much Jesus invested into relationships. Even Jesus had a closer “inner three” of Peter, James and John within the disciples. At times, even relationships frustrated and taxed Jesus.
Yet, relationships were worth the investment for Jesus. Ultimately, he wanted his relationship with God to be what he pointed people back to. The investment of time, energy, listening and patience was more valuable than any other investment. He demonstrates that relationships are worth the investment. May we see investing in relationships with our Heavenly Father as well as those on this earth as worth their weight in gold.
Lord God, thank you for investing into a relationship with me. Even when I’m not sure that I want a relationship with you, you never walk away. Thanks for being ever available to me. Help me choose the most important relationships to invest in and model the value of relationships as Jesus did. Amen.
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