Once upon a time there was a young lady in love with a young man. They had great conversations, laughed at each other’s jokes, and spent as much time as they could together. However, they lived several hours apart, so that time wasn’t much. In order to see her beau, the young lady would drive for hours to visit him, several weekends a year. The young man, though, was a very busy man. He only drove a few weekends a year to see his sweetheart.
One day the young lady’s mother warned her not to give too much. The wise mother taught her daughter relationships are a two way street. If the young lady invests so much time and money in travelling, the young man should try to invest the same. If he doesn’t, that may be an indication of an unhealthy relationship.
The Bible says to guard your heart, for everything else you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23). The above story is true. It is my story, but does this lesson apply only to romantic relationships or all relationships? If it applies to all relationships, are there exceptions to the rule? For example, every person in a relationship should give 50%, unless there are children involved, or unless one makes more money than the other, or unless the driving distance becomes greater due to a job change. If there are any, what are the exceptions to the rule?
Too often I have seen people at funerals mourning their loved ones. They share fond memories, and agree time on earth is too short. They express regrets for time not spent with their beloved. Curious, and fascinated by statistics, I did a little math. If I spent ½ hour a day with someone, and an extra hour with them one day a week, I’d only be giving them 2% of my time. Am I satisfied with that? Would I be satisfied with that at their funeral? That’s often what we give Jesus…if we give him that much.
Thinking about these things can be a slippery slope. We are fallen human beings in a fallen world (Genesis 3). Too often we minimize our own shortcomings and maximize another person’s. When I am tempted to do that, I remember Hebrews 12:3. Jesus gave his life for me, and I give him 2% a week. I am not smart, financially speaking, but I know that’s a terrible return on investment.
This holiday season, remember this post. Reread it. Driving is inconvenient. Money is tight, and paying for gas right now is unpleasant. However, when you do the math, do your loved ones really know how much you love them? Will you be satisfied at their funeral?
For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. Hebrews 12:3
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