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Monday, January 22, 2024

A Reason, A Season, or Forever

 As we near the month of Love - I'm reminded of this article that I published in the Hometown Treasure last year. Who are these people in your life?


Coming off the holidays, where I spent time with friends and family and moving into the "month of love," I've been reflecting on relationships. Conclusion - I've been blessed with a lot of them!

Some were in my life for a reason, some for a season, and some are in it forever. No relationship in my life has been wasted. Even if they ended, there was a purpose. I've learned valuable lessons, shared laughs, and loved.

There have been individuals in my life whose paths have crossed briefly with mine. They have been placed there for a reason. Past teachers taught me essential lessons or skills. I've encountered people in the grocery store that I'm convinced were there for a purpose. This is how I learned to pick a good cantaloupe!

Then there are those people who were in my life for a season. Classmates, parents who I shared bleachers with and cheered our children on together, or friends who moved away. We didn't part on complicated terms but moved on with good memories. I've also endured complex relationships for a season. I learned valuable lessons there, also.

Then there is the long-haul group. These forever people are my mainstays who have stuck with me no matter what. They are my parents, family members, spouse, and lifelong friends. These are the ones that have loved me through the thick and thin of life. These individuals have grit and grace, and I can always return to them when I've lost my way. Even if I try, I can't get rid of them (God love 'em) because their love is deeply rooted in my heart.

Where are you in the lives of other people? Who fills in these categories in your life?

God created us uniquely and desires us to be in a relationship with each other. He saw Adam was lonely and created another human being for him. In Galatians 6:2, we are instructed to carry one another's burdens. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says we are to encourage and build each other up.

No matter the status, there is a purpose in each encounter we make along the way.

Romans 13:8 (NLT) says: Owe nothing to anyone – except for your obligation to love one another.

Whether you are in someone's life for a reason, a season, or forever you owe them nothing but love. Easily done if you're in good standing, but more difficult if there are hard feelings. In time and through prayer, we can have love in any relationship. However, it must be sincere love, according to Romans 12.

This passage says we should be devoted to one another in love and honor one another above ourselves. It gives a list of how sincere love should look. This list applies no matter how you fit into someone's life.

Here is what sincere love looks like:

It is selfless, zealous, fervent, and service-oriented. It is joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. It's hospitable, compassionate, and giving. It blesses and doesn't' curse. It rejoices with the joyful and mourns with the grieving. It is harmonious, humble, and never conceited. Sincere love does not seek revenge but makes peace with everyone. It overcomes evil with good!

How many can you check off this list in your relationships? I’m a work in progress on many of them. Let us strive to love each other sincerely - whether for a reason, a season, or forever.