Relationships to Keep
“When David had finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan committed himself to David, and loved him more than he loved himself…Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him more than he loved himself.” -1 Samuel 18:1-3
Last Friday, we had our weekly staff meeting. As we sat and waited for all of staff to join us, Pastor looked around and was just thinking about something. We could all tell something was on his mind. Then, he looks up, after everyone had joined us and said, “You know, it’s best to keep friendships and be the best person you can for them, because you never know how much you might need them later on in life.” I thought about that later on that day and began to think about each relationship, in my own life, that I needed to connect back with. One relationship was my old youth pastor who I interned with my sophomore year in college. Another one was one of my mentors that I had throughout college, and the other one was my accountability partner while I was in college. Man…I am so thankful for these people in my life. Why you ask? Well, not because of what they did for me, but how their walk with God was. Each person I come across, I always think of them as God putting them in my life for some reason. I am going to learn something from them. No matter how hard headed, or how nasty and rude that person might be. You will always learn something from someone.
So, I prayed that the Lord would lay people on my heart that at one time or another, had invested time into my life. As God began to lay them on my heart, I began picking up the phone and dialing their phone numbers. Some number I didn’t even have, so I had to call my old church and ask for their numbers. But, as I type this out, I can tell you that I am a changed person, because of God putting people in my life. I am a completely different person than I was in college. Some might say, “well, duh!” Others might say, “Yeah right!” but to me, if I didn’t have those people in my life to tell me that I messed up, or I did this or that wrong, or when I would get a call or text late at night from them telling me that they were praying for me, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I can type for hours upon hours and name off person by person who I am thankful for and what they did for me, but I’m not.
To David, Jonathan was his hero. Jonathan loved David so much that he would sneak behind his own father’s back (King Saul) to help David as he was hiding in a cave and running away for safety of his own life. That to me speaks volumes. Jonathan loved David more than he loved himself. Isn’t a commandment? (Notice I said commandment…not a choice).
As I called somebody this week, I got off the phone with him and was in shock at our conversation. I was thinking to hear: “Yeah man, doing awesome! Just had a child, moved to a bigger house, and even got a pay raise” but that wasn’t it. I hung up the phone and wanted to just sit and pray, because I felt so convicted because I had put that relationship on the back burner for so long. Lost connection with this person, and God reminded me of him, so I decided to call. I can’t say it enough, but I am so thankful for the relationships that God puts in my way. That man was a man I met with every week while I was in college. He held me accountable. He took my to go play golf. He took me to his house every week for a small group. He encouraged me throughout the day. But to hear him say, “I’m sick, and I’ve been sick for a long time now. Doctors have no idea what’s wrong” absolutely breaks my heart. You have no idea what you can do for someone and you have no idea what that person can do for you.
Is there a kid in school that you keep picking on? Do you know that he goes home every day thinking about ending his life, because you make him feel like junk? Or is there a kid in your neighborhood that rides his bike every day past your house and you have never spoke to him before? Maybe you don’t know that that kid is thinking about joining a gang because no one will accept him for him. You have a chance to speak into people’s lives every day, and guess what? Maybe one day, just maybe, they will become the next David of this generation and they might say, “man…so and so really touched my life…or so and so came out of nowhere to just say hello to me.” That one small “hello” to the nerd in your school could be the saving grace in his or her life.
I know for me, I was at a play in college where I didn’t want anyone to speak into my life, because I knew what was best and I knew how to do everything. Ever been there before? It was a bad place to be in. It led me to become distant from one of my best friends in college. It led me to lose my walk with Christ in many ways. And it also led to me falling hard my senior year. It wasn’t fun…and it wasn’t easy, but I’m glad it happened, because if it wouldn’t have been for my family, my friends, my mentors, and my wife, I wouldn’t be who I am and where I am today. Hey, you never know. That nerd you are picking on at school, could be your next boss 15 years down the road. Or that kid in your history class that you keep throwing stuff at and calling him names, could be the guy driving down the road as your car is broke down out of nowhere, and he drives up and says, “hey, you’re the guy that used to pick on my in class! See ya later!” Let me say it again. You never know how much you might need that person in your life. So, be wise and loving in your relationships. No matter who the person is, because Jesus says to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).
You could be lost somewhere in life right now and you may have no idea what to do and who to turn to. Turn to God and turn to godly mentors and surround them around you. If you do, I promise you will come out a different person…a changed person…and a better person.