We are a disposable society. Despite the great environmental push over the last few decades we are still producing and consuming goods that are easy to use and throw away. I think at times we are that stupid that we think the problem isn't with us but always with the other guy. The truth is we are the other guy along with millions of our neighbours. We are the ones buying the convenient products thinking that one person won't make that much of a difference but it's not just one person. It's 300 million people thinking the same way and our environment continues to get worse because we are too stupid to save ourselves. However, this blog is not about the environment.
We are a disposable society. Despite a lot of great books and teachings, along with some good counselors being available we are still throwing away relationships. I am counted in that number. I threw away my first marriage or we both threw each other away, as millions of people are doing today. The easiest, most cowardly thing to do in a relationship is give up, walk away, move on. Some will tell you it is the hardest thing they have ever done but they are lying. Walking away is convenient and brings a false sense of relief and it doesn't matter if we are talking about friendship or marriage; both are based on our Father's definition of love. One of the most important aspects of this love is this:
Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8)
In fact, as followers of Jesus we are held to a much higher standard because we have been exposed to this love. Not only have we been exposed and benefited from it but we have been made capable to love in the same manner. If not Jesus would never have commanded:
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John13:34)
Not a suggestion but a command. And this love is described with these words:
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:7)
Always perseveres even when a relationship becomes awkward and hard. How easy it is to quit in the face of difficulties instead of paying the cost of persevering through it. What kind of friend have you been?
As you read this there are probably faces of people or names of old friends that are popping into your thoughts; people who you have walked away from or who have walked away from you. Awkward people; people hard to love. People who never gave back or who abused your friendship. People who did not respond according to your expectations of the friendship or relationship. Friendship and marriage are suppose to mean something but we are becoming desensitized to our failures and quitting is becoming second nature to us. A disposable society.
The love that Jesus told us to have for one another is described as not being rude or self-seeking, it is not easily angered and it keeps no record of wrongs. Too often we evaluate a relationship for what we get out of it instead of what we can put into it. We now use the term "toxic relationship" to describe something that is like a poison to us and I am not denying that some relationships are like this. I am only questioning our perspective of how we see ourselves and our purpose in this relationship. The most toxic relationship is the world's with the Jesus. It is so toxic that it ended with it killing him but he still gave himself to the world in this love. He did not give up or walk away. Right now he is sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us who marked him with scars of hatred and jealousy, with our great sin. He died for us while we were his enemy so how much more is he willing to do now that we are his friend? Yet, we are still unfaithful to him from time to time but it doesn't stop his love.
It's time for us to grow up and take responsibility for the relationships we have in our lives. It is time for us to mature in our relationship with Jesus so that we are able to love according to his love. It is time to give up this infantile idea that the world revolves around us and start thinking about how we can be a benefit to those in our lives, to take on the role of a servant and to persevere even when we are tempted to walk away. Set your heart not on receiving but giving today and remember, even if the giving is thrown back in your face:
Love never fails.