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13
Valuing Relationships
December 13, 2016

There are lots of times during the Christmas season that I, ashamed to say, get caught up in my own interests, time commitments and over commitments  It is easy for me to rush through malls, avoiding eye contact in order that I won’t get slowed down by people.  In reality, this really contributes toward a humbug advent season.  When Christmas day finally arrives, we may have accomplished our goals but lost a myriad of opportunities to invest in and engage in relationships. 

In the Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge had no use for relationship, only what people could contribute to his bottom line.  Is that how we see people?  How we can take advantage of the generosity of others to further our own ambitions?  The Cratchit family on the other hand was poverty stricken yet had real joy as they enjoyed their meagre, Christmas celebration.

Paul wrote to his friends with a sincere attitude of appreciation and investment. 

I always thank God when I pray for you . . . because I keep hearing of your trust in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God's people. You are generous because of your faith. . . . I myself have gained much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because your kindness has so often refreshed the hearts of God's people (Philem. 4–7, NLT).

What is it that brings lasting satisfaction in life?  What brings true value to life?  It is living in relationship with Jesus Christ and sharing his love with others.  Christmas time is a season to truly acknowledge the value of relationships; recognizing how so many people contribute to making our lives meaningful.  Christmas is a natural time to think of past and present relationships. Is there someone in your life with whom you could touch base through a personal contact, letter, phone call, or email? Perhaps a family member, long-lost friend, someone from another country.  We change our humbug to hallelujah by expressing our appreciation to family and friends.  We get rich as we invest in lives. We store up treasures that last by giving ourselves to others. True riches are not found in the stingy accumulation of wealth, but in the extravagant investment of love.

pj

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