Weekly Thought – May 17, 2022
Fred cultivated and nurtured relationships. Networking for him wasn’t a business strategy – it was an effective means of living out his goal of stretching others. He was an excellent friend. He held confidences; he prayed for them; he connected them with others; and he believed in them.
Relationships are not homogeneous. The variety resembles the diversity of garden flowers. Some bring color while others are known for their aromas. Some are like cacti because they can survive contrary conditions. Some take a long time to develop and bloom but are long lasting.
A few friends are for all seasons but most are for a particular season. It is important to know the seasons of our relationships. And just as important is the ability to understand every friendship doesn’t endure forever. This doesn’t diminish the effectiveness, the contribution, or the value. I hear people say, “I used to be friends with him.” I refuse to think like that. Friendships are always alive, even if only in a certain timeframe, situation, or environment. We do not bury a relationship just because the season has changed. We appreciate and remember their blooms.
I am convinced friendships must have mutual benefit as the foundational element. Of course in every mutual relationship there are pluses and minuses, contributions and embarrassments, agreements and conflicts… but in the end the mutuality must be solidly built on the net good to all.
God created man for relationship with Himself. We see the mutuality in that God gives us His best, and in perfect communion, man returns his best to God. It is important to understand we don’t offer our best in order to gain favor, salvation, or ongoing fellowship. God so loved that He gave… His best is exactly that – His best. But we can respond in gratitude by offering everything that we can as a gift back to Him.
God wanted that communion so much that when it was broken, Christ came to restore it for man is precious to the Father.
It is important to understand that mutuality does not demand equality of contribution but the commitment in which each does his best for the other. We see this in friendships, in family, in business associations – and in the love of God in Christ.
This week carefully think about: 1) How do I chronicle my history of friendships? 2) What makes me a good friend? 3) Where do I need to improve my intentional development of mutual benefit?
Words of Wisdom: “I am convinced friendships must have mutual benefit as the foundational element.”
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)