Morning devotion: Healthy relationships require mutual investment. What we feed and nurture grows, what we starve or neglect dies. Intimacy is an ongoing mutual pursuit.
I have plants. I had one I took to the basement once and well I forgot about the poor thing. There is minimal sunlight in the basement. It obviously was not watered. Guess what? It died. Dead. Dead. Super dead. There was no feeding, nurturing, or investment in the plant. So it died.
I also have bank accounts, as do most people. If I pull up and try to withdraw 10 million dollars, the cashiers will send me a note, “Insufficient funds.” I have not deposited 10 million dollars, therefore I can not withdraw the amount.
Relationships are like the plant and bank account. What we neglect, or ignore often withers and dies. It is not enough to invest in the beginning and then do nothing coasting on commitment. Intimacy will wither and fade.
God invests richly in us and has no lack. So we are not adding to His bounty per say. God does want our love and pure devotion. When you truly love someone, how they treat you matters. We are encouraged in Scripture to love God; love Him with all of our heart, soul, strength-to love Him above a spouse, child, family, or friends. In order to deepen our friendship, I must purposefully seek Him. Our friendship grows when I seek Him to know Him. “God what is on Your heart today? I am here to love You God. Thank You God. My heart and life is Yours God. I am listening, what do You have to say?”
God so loves the world despite reciprocation of love. It does warm His heart to be loved in return. Unrequited love is no fun. Trust me I know this well.
The same goes for relationships with people. If we never talk to them except when we need or want something, we have reduced them to being an ATM. They are a resource for us and not a person.
I read a quote that stuck with me, “The problem with the world is people were meant to be loved and things were meant to be used. We have people being used and things being loved.”
I had someone tell me once, “I love you Erin. You are always there for me. No matter what you are there.” This person I only saw when they needed something or did not have a boyfriend. I was completely ignored otherwise. They never asked how I was doing, never contacted me to just say hello. Guess what? The relationship died. I was a friend. They were not. I found people who treated me like a human being who is loved.
Healthy relationships require some investment, otherwise they wither and die.
How can we be a good friend to God and others? How can we nurture the relationships that we have?
What we feed, nurture, pay attention to grows. What we ignore and neglect withers. May we not abuse the unconditional love of God-“He will never leave me so I will treat God however I want.” May we also not abuse the love of people. One day we may look up and they have moved on to where they are supported, honored, and love is reciprocated.