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Life At Its Best: Nurture your relationships

By By Jim Graff
Sept. 6, 2013 at 4:06 a.m.

Jim Graff

We are made for relationships. I was reminded of this truth not long ago while watching one of my favorite movies, "Cast Away." If you've never seen it, "Cast Away" is about a guy stranded on a deserted island, completely alone, with nothing but the few items he'd recovered from the plane crash.

One of those items was a volleyball that quickly became his most prized possession. He called it (or should I say him?) Wilson and soon made this lifeless object his closest companion.

In one scene, he's searching for land when waves begin to rock his raft. While struggling to survive, he discovers that Wilson has fallen overboard. With little regard for his own safety, he lunges into the water and swims toward him.

Now, if you've watched this scene, you realize that this guy is pretty crazy. You sit there thinking, "No one in their right mind would ever risk their life for such a meaningless object." But as I watched, I realized that we are all a little more like this character than we realize. You see, the desire that compelled him to jump off that raft is one we've all felt. It's a desire for companionship.

Like that man, we don't want to face life alone. We desire to be connected to people who'll face life's storms and challenges with us. That desire is one that God has placed in each of us, and it's one He wants to see fulfilled. That's why, in His word, He gives us two keys necessary for establishing life-giving friendships.

First, we must support each other. We all experience rough seasons. Some days, it's easy to get discouraged and lose faith in God's Word. During those times, we must continue to stick with each other. We must encourage one another in the truth and faithfulness of God's promises.

Now, if we're honest, it's much easier when we're the ones needing support rather than giving it. We don't always want to take the time or energy to provide the support our friends need. Instead, we find ourselves offering shallow encouragement, while continuing on with our busy lives.

But building lasting relationships requires more than simply supporting each other when it's convenient. Proverbs 17:17 says, "A friend loves at all times." We must make a commitment to stand by each other in every season.

Then, we must shield each other. We don't always see things clearly on our own. It's easy to fall into wrong habits or relationships when we rely solely on our own knowledge. However, there's safety that comes when you surround yourself with people who live by godly wisdom. Establish friendships that will hold you accountable and help you see things according to God's truth. Then strive to be that kind of friend to others.

There are few things as important as our relationships. I encourage you to take time today to evaluate the people in your life. Establish godly friendships of mutual support and protection. Let right relationships begin leading you to better destinations.

Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.

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