Weekly Thought – January 14, 2020
Fred valued friendship, enjoying several relationships for a lifetime. His ability to keep confidences, offer wisdom, and enjoy experiences deepened friendships. The hallmark of relationship management is his keystone phrase: “Friendship is mutual.”
BWFLI further deepens our relationship with students this year, producing a series of sessions for a small group of students nominated by their school administrators and faculty. These will feature two team members focusing on one student, developing a serious relationship. We will strengthen their understanding of mentoring, networking, and perseverance.
Mutuality is the heart of relations. We invest interest, time, energy, and love in others. If the relationship is healthy, we receive as well as give. Without mutuality health doesn’t exist, nor can it grow.
Exchange is a better word than share. Where one does all the giving and the other takes all, the relationship will be flawed, and in most cases will be short-lived.
Mutuality is pragmatic. The first time I heard someone observe about the efficacy of mutuality I felt that the statement and the observer were cynical. But as I watched for this, I realized all parties must get something valuable from the relationship, or it will die. We must be motivated by the desire to give and if our motivation is to give more than we receive, health increases.
Not only must the benefits balance, but also the spirit of mutuality.
This cannot be formulaic or it eventually fails. When approached by the Philippian jailer with the question, “What must I do to be saved?” Peter answered with “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” A current phrase reflects this: “Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship.”
Relations must be planned, and well maintained, if they are to flourish. Like floral designs, they must be arranged harmoniously, artfully, and synergistically with each unique flower relating to the others. Some friends must be enjoyed only in one environment. For example, they may be great bridge partners or fellow vacationers, but are not transferable to other environments. Others take a long time to develop and bloom, yet resemble the cactus which can survive contrary conditions.
A very few friends are for all seasons but most of our acquaintances are for particular times. We must consider each relation, knowing how best they fit into the arrangement. Our oldest granddaughter has a friend who said to her, “I have friends when I am serious and sad. You are my friend I laugh with.”
Those who would refute mutuality as the basis for long-lasting relationships quote John 3:16 to me. I feel this is proof of mutuality, not refutation. God created man to have a relationship with Him. The relationship is mutual in that communion is God giving His best to us and our yearning to give back to Him everything we have. The real proof: God wanted that fellowship so much that to redeem the broken world, fallen by sin, God sent Jesus Christ to restore the relationship. Man is precious to God.
This week think about: 1) How purposeful am I about developing healthy relationships? 2) What value do I bring to my friendships? 3) Who teaches me about the true meaning of mutuality?
Words of Wisdom: “Not only must the benefits balance, but also the spirit of mutuality.”
Wisdom from the Word: “He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30 NET Bible)