"As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest..."
~Genesis 8:22 (NLT)
I once wrote an article about the difference between giving and investing in relationships. I wrote extensively on the risks and benefits, and return on investing in relationships. This is somewhat the same, but from a different angle. How do you know a relationship is from God? How do you know someone is meant to be connected to you or your life/ministry/business? Ask yourself two questions: 1. Is what this person brings to my life/ministry/business a reflection of what I myself have planted in other's lives/businesses/ministries? 2. Is this person a reflection of myself when someone else planted into my life/business/ministry?
These may sound like two simple questions, but if we are truthful with ourselves, they really speak volumes. They speak volumes about how we have actually served and received from others in our motives and actions/behaviors. Anything we plant in the natural can yield a harvest up to seven times. There is no scriptural evidence that the same is true for the spiritual, but the Bible does promise that whatever we sow (plant) will come back to us. And if we are using the farming analogy as the Bible so often does, we can expect to receive a harvest greater than what we have planted.
So what does this mean? We often want our "God connections" to be trusting, faithful, profitable, encouraging, deep, meaningful, fulfilling. But have we planted any or all of these things in any of our connections? We are slow to admit that we have been often been faithless, unfaithful, draining, critical, shallow, callous, apathetic, and self-serving in most or all of our relationship choices. Yet we reject those who come in the same manner. We seek out and pursue those who can benefit us, and reject the harvest we have actually planted for ourselves.
On the other hand, some of us attract the unfaithful for this same reason the unfaithful pursue those who can benefit them. These fruitful and faithful individuals are those who are in a constant fight to create boundaries, just like farm plantings are in a constant fight to avoid being overtaken by weeds. Knowing the seeds you have planted, and clearly recognizing the fruit of that harvest is paramount to keeping effective boundaries; and, pruning the weeds for increased relationship harvest. The question is not, "What have you done for me lately?" The questions are, "What have I done for others lately, so that I can reap great relationships in my life/business/ministry?" And, "Am I ignoring my harvest to: 1. covet another's, or 2. allow weeds to take over?"
Invest/plant/sow well in your relationships, so that you don't have to be afraid to choose the fruit you have planted, and prune the weeds. You will know the relationships that are heaven sent by honestly auditing what you have planted in the lives of others.
Reap Well My Friends!
~Pouring my life out in worship, like Costly Oil~