Fresh Hope – 20th November 2019

Aside from our relationship with God, the most precious thing we have on earth is each other. Investing into our relationships with each other is one of the greatest investments you can make. 

The definition of investment is: ‘the act of putting moneyefforttime, etc. into something to make a profit’. Investing is essentially putting in some hard work and sacrifice in order to reap a greater reward. 

I’m not suggesting that we make an effort with people so that we can selfishly gain something, but I am suggesting that there IS something precious to be gained in investing in relationships. 

Relationship is the essence of what God is all about. He shares in perfect relationship with the trinity (Colossians 2:9), He desires personal relationship with humanity (Genesis 1:26), He then made mankind relational in nature, stating that it ‘is not good for man to be alone’ (Genesis 2), and so passionate was His intent for relationship with us that He then made the ultimate investment in sending His only son to die for us (John 3:16). 

We may feel lonely. We may feel like we are seen, but not truly known. We may feel like we are in a crowd, but don’t have true connection. May I propose that if you have people around you, but are struggling in feeling like you don’t have true friendship and relationship, that you consider the following:

 1. Get off screens, and get into real life. 

Social media can be great for surface level networking and creative inspiration, but it is not an appropriate source of genuine connection. We were made for relationship, and the hours spent observing the lives of others, is time you could have spent having real talk, coffee, and connection with someone. 

A recent study proved that on average people are spending at least two hours a day on social media. Over the span of a lifetime, that equals to 6 years and 8 months! For TV, it equated to 8 years and 4 months. That is a total of 14 years of our precious life in front of a screen! Yes, in the colder months, we can have the tendency to hibernate, but consider that for our mental health and fruitfulness of earth, we need genuine connection with people!

 2. Be vulnerable and real. You will not feel fully connected until you feel fully known. Put up a front that people might love, but your true self will never feel loved. You will not be getting the connection, encouragement and relationship that you actually desire and need. Be honest and real with the right people. There is no other way to do life.

 3. Make an investment. Consider how much of your time is consumed pursuing things for selfish gain.  Consider how much of your money you spend on people. Consider how often your language is encouraging toward others. Consider how much effort YOU make for them. What you sow, you reap. Harsh perhaps, but don’t expect a harvest of deep, meaningful friendships, when your investments have been few. Any relationship is built on the grounds of sacrifice. If you want beautiful friendships, it is going to cost you. The greater the investment, the greater the return. 

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.