Relationships are gifts

Have we been guilty of leveraging friendships?

In a world of “what’s in it for me?” it’s fairly common to leverage relationships for gain. It may be good business practice for the you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, but what about when it comes to friendships?

We may not intentionally entertain to gain, or pretend to befriend, but unintentionally is definitely a possibility.

Think back to younger days…

Perhaps it was the friend whose brother was the cutest ever, or that friend who could bring a guest to the clubhouse.

How about the friend with a pool, or the friend whose parents were never home?

Maybe you were that friend.

How are we doing so far, anything coming to mind?

Are we still doing that today? Using friendships to connect us to an end goal of self?

As far as working relationships, let me say this, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with networking. We should all share where we work and what we do; it’s good for business, and it’s good to meet needs and share connections.

But when it comes to friendships, the true kind seeks nothing in return. True friendships are when we don’t ask what’s in it for me; It’s when we expect no payback hospitality, and have no reverse expectations.

So let’s not confuse friendship with lendship or worse yet, a-means-to-an-endship. We are all created in God’s image, and doormats we are not.

Now let’s talk benevolence. Have we helped others with less, so we can gain more back-pats and look-what-I’ve-done’s?

I’ve been there, and maybe you have too. We don’t mean to come off that way, but in examining what’s really going on, we may need a healthy check on our true motives.

If we give a hungry person a meal, we’ve done the Lord’s work. We’ve been His hands and feet. That’s awesome in God’s eyes, as He talks of when we feed the least of these, we are feeding Him.

We just need to resist the temptation of wanting to announce it in the newspaper.

So what does Jesus say about that?

And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. Luke 14:12

Let’s show hospitality in love to those whom we know cannot repay. That would be mercy.

Now let’s go a step further and show hospitality to the ones who can repay, but don’t. That would be grace.

Because in our relationships, we shouldn’t be saying what’s in it for me; we should be saying I’m in it for us.

Relationships are gifts, some for a season and some for a lifetime. The Holy Spirit will help us discern the difference, but our seasonal relationships are just as valuable as our lifetime ones.

Because when we live and love beyond ourselves, beyond our own needs, He fills our cup to overflowing.

Let’s be in it for Jesus.

Share your thoughts, did you relate to anything here? Were you that friend who gives or takes?