Saturday, April 7, 2007

A Contributing Factor

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up; but pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 (NIV)

Years ago when I stumbled across this Scripture in Ecclesiastes it seemed to describe well what a true relationship was all about whether it was between two friends, husband and wife or whoever. Wanting to share my new found treasure from the Scriptures I copied it down and gave it to my friend Cynthia who I was blessed with over the years to share such a relationship. Indeed the time we had spent together had paid off as we worked to make a difference in each others lives. Finding ourselves many-a-times in the position of helping each other up when life or Satan’s attacks had one of us tripped and fallen.

Countless stories are often told regarding the wonderful friendships and relationships people have experienced in their lives. Some seem to have more tales to tell than others, yet some feel they have none to share as they consider themselves not quite as blessed in this area of their lives as loneliness takes its toll.

We must remember relationships don’t happen over night, they won’t last for ever if we don’t continue to work on them, they aren’t all made in heaven but they can be turned around enough to come close. Making the mistake of going into relationships thinking we are going to get something out of it without being willing to put into it ourselves will often cost us the bond we were seeking. In Acts 20:35 it makes the remark that it’s more blessed to give than to receive; when it comes to relationships this needs to be our plan of action as well.

It’s imperative that we need to be that friend that someone seeks, the bliss they lack, the link to an even better relationship with Jesus Christ that is available. Adopting the attitude of, “it’s not what I can get out of this but what I can contribute that matters,” as we become contributing factors in the lives of our family, friends, co-workers or strangers to make a difference in those around us. A kind word, a thoughtful gesture, encouraging words during discouraging times, a willing ear to listen to those who simply need to talk, the giving of our time and ourselves are all factors used to cultivate right relationships.

Before we know it, we find ourselves in the middle of a relationship enjoying a harvest of joy in something we didn’t even realize we planted. Unlike young children who put so much emphasis on having a “best friend” we need to slowdown long enough to work on being a friend the best way we know how using the talents and gifts God has blessed us with following the example of Jesus Christ and the joy He brings with Him on a daily basis.

Dear Heavenly Father what a delight it is to have the relationship with You that we all can have if we are willing to add to it. Put Your arms around those not yet blessed with the joy of a close relationship with You or others. Help us Lord to be the contributing factors needed to make a difference in those we come across daily; looking to their needs instead of our own. Focusing not on how many friends we have but what kind of a friend we are. Praise You for the Friend we find in Christ Jesus who was so willing to lay down His life for us, who is always there when we need Him, still willing to come when called. Amen.

© 2007 by Karen J. Gillett

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