Our deepest desire is for a relational lifestyle. Our lifestyle does not leave room for relationships. This is the dilemma of life in the suburbs in the twenty-first century.
A life shared with meaningful conversation, and a sense of being known for who we really are, takes time. The relational life takes time. In our culture, time is money. It also takes time to develop and maintain a career, and the more productive you are, generally the more affluent you become. Taking time for relationships will cost you money (in the short-term). You will become less productive, which means you will make less money, and you will lose opportunity for advancement in your work.
Yet, once we pay the price for authentic relationships, the pay off is invaluable. The relationships we obtain are priceless. In addition, the benefits of authentic relationships are not just the intangibles. Long-term relationships are the doorways to the blessings of God. God moves through relationships. Almost every answer to prayer and kingdom opportunity that has come to me has occurred because of a relationship developed. I believe the phrase, “Our relationships today, are the answers to our prayers tomorrow.” So pay the price for authentic relationships because it will be the best investment of your time for tangible and intangible benefits.
Each month I meet with two groups of pastors (here is a recent “selfie” of one of those groups). These relationships are not based off of an agenda, an event or an obligation. We simply meet to laugh, encourage and talk. Some months it seems very inconvenient, and almost unproductive. Yet, the commitment to these fellow pastors as my personal small groups has contributed to my emotional health, my professional sustainability, and my overall happiness. These men have made me a better husband, father, and pastor. Relationships matter!