I’ve seen a lot of things written lately about how relationships matter. And I’m very blessed to have some great relationships in my life – some that have lasted my whole life. Trust me, those relationships matter dearly to me.
But, I’ve had two experiences where I thought one of my more recent relationships were unhealthy and I tried to address the issues. And the people who talked about “valuing relationships” and “doing life together” as their highest value, weren’t even willing to spend fifteen minutes discussing it. Apparently, for some people “life” turns out to be a lot less than fifteen minutes.
The truth is relationships don’t really matter.
What matters are the relationships that you want. Relationships with people you don’t want in your life don’t matter to you at all. Because you’ve already made a judgement on them.
The bad news is you probably don’t matter to the majority of people. And if you don’t matter the relationship is doomed – whether it’s a romantic partnership, friendship, or just business.
That’s why if you ask them to invest a whopping fifteen minutes in fixing your relationship, they’ll just get annoyed.
Here’s some advice from Jesus:
Matthew 10:11-15 Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
You can tell if people don’t receive you – they always want you to change (or leave). Jesus could solve every problem of every person everywhere, but when he went to some cities, they thought that He was the problem! The good folk of the Gadarenes were so blind to their own problems they didn’t even consider changing themselves – they thought they’d be better off if Jesus just left. So you know what He did? He just left.
You see, relationships that don’t nurture peace are not worthy of you. In other words, they’re not worth it. Don’t fight for them. Don’t invest in them. Not even their dust is worth it! In the words of the great relationship advisor, Taylor Swift, shake it off!
The older I get, the more I realise that people either get you or they don’t. And that largely depends on whether they want to get you or not. Not everyone is going to be “in your tribe”. And if they’re not in your tribe, get out of their tribe quick!
You’ll find that the people who do want to be in relationship with you will be much better companions for doing life together. Those kinds of relationships are so precious – they’ll stand with you through thick and thin. Sometimes, they’ll be the only things that allow you to stand. They’ll nourish your soul. They’ll make you a better you. And the way Jesus tells it, just one good friend in a city or town is all you need.
I’ve found a real key question is “who has asked you into their house?” because if they won’t let you into their home, they almost certainly haven’t let you into their heart.
So, who wants to come over and help clean my bathroom? I promise you can stay for more than fifteen minutes. Because in my home, relationships matter. Except when they don’t.