Investments are a very important piece of an individual’s assets. We research and ask questions about investments because we know it is important for our future. We only have so many years of earning power. As we age, we understand the probability that our bodies won’t have the ability or stamina to maintain a full-time job. Therefore, we take a little of what we make now, to invest for a time to come. We do without a percentage of our earnings, to tuck away, to allow and grow, to use later. Brilliant. Except for when things don’t go as we plan. One of my favorite movies is Cinderella Man, the story of James Braddock, a boxer who exhibited the utmost character in a time of detrimental circumstances. You may be familiar with his story. If not, you’re certainly familiar of the history, the time in October 1929 known as Black Tuesday, when the stock market crashed and the country experienced the ten-year turmoil known as The Great Depression.
Our generation counted it’s own financial losses a few years back. The recession of 2007-2009 had a great negative impact on countless people’s investments. We watched the government step in with the Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TARP) bailing out the banks and the auto industry. The housing bubble and credit crisis provided this generation it’s own experiences with unwanted investment outcomes.
We track portfolios of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, cash equivalents, certificates of deposit. We keep records on our 401K and Roth IRA, we watch our stock tickers, we manage our brokerage accounts, we keep tabs on the Wall Street Journal. We work to insure a strong financial future, but how much attention to detail do we invest when it comes to our relationships?
Just like our financial investments there are life investments we must work to build, work to grow, and work to protect if they are worth any value to us. But what happens when a relationship experiences it’s own “crisis” or it’s own “Black Tuesday?” Do we walk away? Count it a total loss? Or do we fight for what we’ve already got in it? Do we fight for what could be recovered, for what could be re-invested?
In every single detail of our life, we must know, there is an enemy on the prowl. This enemy seeks to devour (I Peter 5:8). We know his intent is to steal, kill and destroy (John10:10). But the better news is, we know who wins! We know greater is He who is in you and me, than that loser thief who is in the world I John4:4. (Okay, loose translation on that last one, but stay with me.) The point is, identify the source of the attack. Call it for what it is and face it head on! We are overcomers! Mighty Men (and women) of Valor (Judges 6)!
People are not disposable. They’ll hurt you. They’ll bruise you. They’ll mistreat you. And I’m not talking about strangers; I’m talking about people we have RELATIONSHIPS with. An offense doesn’t have the impact coming from someone we’re not close to, as it does coming from the person we are. So how in the world do we handle those situations?
Again….can’t repeat this enough—know the source. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father, and the serpent would love nothing more than to destroy it.
Be strong and courageous. Don’t close the door. Don’t walk away. Who wins if you call “uncle” or tap out? People you love are worth fighting for; relationships are worth saving. And it takes a strong, courageous spirit to commit to resolution. Remember what the Lord spoke to Joshua after the death of Moses. Joshua was commissioned to lead the people across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Three times the Lord told Joshua to be strong and courageous, Joshua 1:6, 7 & 9. Three times! Why did the Lord repeat it? Because it wasn’t an easy assignment. And it wasn’t a simple suggestion. It was a command. When we are faced with having to do something difficult or challenging, remember Joshua 1:9, “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
I highly recommend reading The Bait of Satan. This book about forgiveness points out how the enemy uses offense to bait people. So guard yourself against offense and walk in forgiveness.
Embrace the storm. Another quality point from the book is the concept that when a tree is planted it has a shallow root system. Much like the beginning stages of relationships we form. Storms stimulate the tree to send it roots down deeper for stability. When we face a disagreement or an argument (the storm), we know what the outcome of the relationship can be if both parties refuse offense and reject bitterness (a stronger, deeper more genuine relationship).
Finally, remember, there is life and death in the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Guard your words. Resist the temptation to share your hurt with any other than the person you need to seek resolution with.
There is a relationship management system far greater than any we can implement for our finances. Seek God’s face. Get in His Word. Pray for wisdom and understanding. Relationships are a very important piece of an individual’s assets in life. Your mutual funds aren’t going to celebrate your life when it’s over at your memorial service. Your IRA isn’t going to tell your children the stories of love and compassion you intend to leave them.
Yes, we only have so many years of earning power. Invest wisely.
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