Weekly Thought – November 12, 2019
Fred benefited from dear, close friends. At the end of his life during a hospital stay he spent a morning saying goodbye to many. The precious nature of these conversations demonstrated the depth of lifelong friendships.
As the year closes, your financial support is greatly appreciated.
Excellence in Relations
Mutuality is the heart of relations. We invest interest, time, energy, and love in others. Healthy relationships return them, as well. Without mutuality no relationship remains healthy. Exchange is a good word for this. When one does all the giving, and the other is the total receiver, the relationship isn’t good, and probably will not last long term.
Mutuality is pragmatic. The first time I heard someone say only mutual relations last I thought it was cynical. But as I have watched over the years I know all parties must get something valuable or the association eventually withers and dies. To ensure longevity each one must work to provide and receive value. I believe it is critical for each one want the other to receive a little more. That creates a healthy dynamic.
A strong relationship has a benefits balance and the true spirit of mutuality.
It is important to avoid looking for a formula. A relationship is much more. A current phrase puts it this way: “Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship.” For example, when the Philippian jailer asked, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul didn’t give him a formula or a set of rules… he outlined a relationship: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
Relations must be planned, and maintained. Like flowers in a beautiful garden they must be arranged harmoniously, artfully, and synergistically. Each flower must be well related to another.
Environments matter. Some relations, like flowers, only flourish in particular soils, or for certain seasons. Some are single purpose like flowers which may be colorful but have little or no aroma.
We must know the seasons of our relationships. Enjoying them fully during their peak and not expecting to bloom out of time creates harmony and health. Great memories keep them alive. Appreciation and gratitude are necessary for excellent relations.
This week think about: 1) How am I doing as a nurturer? 2) What can I do to increase the quality of my relations? 3) Who can I encourage this week?
Words of Wisdom: “Relationships are mutual.”
Wisdom from the Word: “‘Even if the mountains are removed and the hills displaced, my devotion will not be removed from you, nor will my covenant of friendship be displaced,’ says the Lord, the one who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10 NET Bible)