September 19 Seasons of Relationship

Scripture reading: Galatians 6:1–5

Key verse: Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron,

So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

In her book Relationships, Pamela Reeve shares insight on giving in the context of a long-term relationship:

Commitment is the bond that keeps relationships intact through every storm that rolls over the horizon. There will be times when your friend isn’t free to do what you want to do … Friends may become preoccupied with new interests or wrestle with heavy, emotionally-draining problems. They may not be functioning well physically. They may not be warm and responsive. Is that the time to abandon the friendship?

Not if you’ve made a commitment! Your friend may need you more than ever before. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Prov. 17:17). Why are you in the friendship to begin with? For what you can receive? For what you can get out of it to meet your own needs and stroke your own ego?

No, following the example of our Lord, we enter into relationships to give and to bless. There are seasons in every relationship when one is called on to give disproportionately to the other.

There may be years with a difficult elderly parent or a lifetime with an indifferent spouse. Here is where commitment is tested, and here is where you will encounter God’s greatest blessings.

Teach me commitment, Lord—to You and to others. Help me not to abandon others when they are in need.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 274). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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