Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 8, 2018
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
A few weeks ago the traffic was snarled on a rainy Friday night in Atlanta. Already fatigued from a full week of work, why would my wife Rita and I get back into the car and drive 90 minutes bumper to bumper into Buckhead? One compelling reason: the relational investment one man and his family has made in me and my family over the past 30 years motivated me out of gratitude to honor Charlie on his 75th birthday. An intimate group of immediate family and close friends gathered to laugh, cry and affirm the one who brought relational richness into our lives.
I watched and reflected, as toasts began to flow like a dammed up river of delight, bursting forth with refreshing force. A widow wept gracefully, “Charlie, you were the coast guard for me when Sam died”. A grandchild gushed in gratitude, “Pop you and MeMe were there for me when my mom died, I’ll never forget how you cared for me”. Four children beamed in admiration and love for a dad who uniquely loved each of them, while friends pontificated on how they felt special, because of their special relationship with Charlie. I was honored to give a prayer of thanks to God for a life so well spent, “Thank you Lord for giving Charlie abundant relational riches”.
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:18-19).
Relational prosperity cannot be bought, only sought, by being the type of person we want others to be to us. A person who first looks to give not get, listen not talk, serve not be served. The riches of relational wealth are realized as we realize how valuable people are—created in the image of God for the purposes of God. When we place a high value on people we treat them with respect and love them how they need to be loved. Showing respect and love can be as simple as being on time for a meeting or as creative as collecting shared memories in a fitting photo album.
The relationally prosperous are able to see others as the Lord sees them–with great potential to grow into who they are meant to be. A person’s stock may be out of favor, but when they are down they need someone to believe in them and offer future hope beyond their fears. When we buy stock in a person who is at their lowest of low’s, we have more upside to one day celebrate. We refresh others as we help restore them back to God’s original intent for their lives. The fulfillment of seeing a friend back into good graces with Christ is life that is truly life.
“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:18).
PrayerHeavenly Father, show me how to best offer hope to a friend in need, in Jesus’ name, amen.
ApplicationWho is struggling to find their way, that I can encourage to remain faithful?
Related ReadingProverbs 13:20; John 15:13; Ephesians 4:2-3; 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
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