I had surgery this week. Although I only had to spend one night in the hospital, it was major surgery. I can’t lift or exercise for six weeks. So, the plan was for me to go home and do a whole bunch of nothing for a few days. Sadly, the morning I was supposed to get out of the hospital, the dear husband was on the phone telling me that our little boy had a stomach bug. Yuck! No way could I risk getting that! So, time for plan B.
Fortunately, my sweet best friend was willing to be part of the new plan. In fact, not only was she willing, she went above and beyond the expected “rules” of being a good best friend. All I asked for was a germ-free place to stay. I got it. I also got food she knew I would like, everything she could think of to make me comfortable AND a bag of get-well goodies.
Every relationship has rules, you know. There is an expected response to life’s situations. To maintain a relationship, you have to maintain the minimum level of those expected responses. The problem with that, though, is that it can be hard to keep track. We always hear that relationships should be 50/50 or give and take. The best friend likes to say that the best relationships are give and give. I think she’s onto something. You see, the problem with give and take or 50/50 is that the line can get blurry sometimes and it’s hard to see where that line should be. So, as C.S. Lewis wrote, “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.” This, I believe, is what will do more than just maintain a relationship, but grow it.
Another relationship that people tend to want to apply rules to is our relationship with Christ. Yes, I know the Bible has things that we are supposed to do. And, depending on who you ask, they’ll possibly add more. Some I can think of off the top of my head are….go to church three times a week, read your Bible every day, tithe, follow the ten commandments….okay…I could go on. But, Jesus came to fulfill all the Old Testament laws. And, when asked, here’s what He had to say about the rules we are to keep….Love God. Love each other. (If you want to check up behind me, google The Great Commandment.). So….if growing our earthly relationships requires giving more than expected, what will happen when we simply love God with all our heart and give Him….well….everything?
So, how do your relationships look right now? Are you doing all the right things? Following all the rules? How’s that working for you? I say, throw caution to the wind, be a rule breaker and just give and love with wild abandon. Your relationships will be richer for it….yes, including the so-very-special one with God.
Be blessed and tell someone you love them.