WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 11, 2023
TOPIC: INVEST MORE TIME IN THE RELATIONSHIPS YOU VALUE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia” (2 Corinthians 2:12-13 New King James Version).
When someone dies and people gather to mourn, they are pained about the death or cry for different reasons. One of the reasons some people cry is that they regret not spending enough time with the person before he or she died. Probably, the dead person even phoned someone crying and complained that it’s a long time since he/she phoned or visited him/her. And the person crying promised that he/she would visit very soon. But long after that, he/she never phoned back or visited until the person died. But here he/she is crying after the person’s death!
Someone spoke about how he kept postponing going to see his aged father who lived in a different town until one day he received the news that he had passed. When such a dear person dies, you would have to create the time you claimed you didn’t have to plan or attend his burial. And it would cost you more time than the time to visit him! And when a loved one dies, you will never see the person again until in eternity! This is why some people regret not spending enough time with their loved ones whether they died in old age or not, or they are still alive but living on their own.
If you value a relationship, you must invest time in it whether it is a family relationship or friendship. Relationships become sick or die when we fail to invest enough time in communication and interactions or fellowship. People complain that they don’t have time and, therefore, don’t visit loved ones, phone them, or sit down to have intimate discussions. When such a relationship eventually dies, they will regret it, although they may not be honest to admit it.
Find time to visit, phone, interact, and communicate with those you love. This keeps the relationship alive. People are more important than money or things. Someone told me how he stopped phoning a particular person because he was the one always phoning him. He would never make a call to him; he always claimed to be very busy.
The person who was always phoning eventually stopped because the other person had the erroneous impression that he was idle. He was busy but made the phone calls out of love. You always have time for those you love. He stopped phoning when his love was misconstrued as idleness.
How often do you visit or phone your parents, children, or friends? Or are you waiting for an emergency before you will do so? After a funeral in another town close to their hometown, some family members were talking, which led to a discussion about a very old member of their family living in a far city. Then, someone in the family who had not seen this very old member of the family for decades said when the man died his children should not bury him where he lived but bring his corpse to their hometown for burial.
This generated a heated debate because this old man had already said he should be buried in the city of his residence. At one point, the man’s son had to interrupt and ask the person which was more important to her: the dead body of the man or the man alive?
The son asked the question because it was strange to him that someone could be concerned about where a man’s corpse should be buried and not about visiting him alive. She had not even phoned him for quite a long time. If the corpse of a man is going to be important to you, you would find time to look for him and see him alive. It shouldn’t be this person’s business to argue with the children about where to bury him. Everybody is busy but we must invest time in relationships we value. Otherwise, we kill such relationships.
Spend more time with your spouse. Don’t become or claim to be too busy. Get your priorities right. There comes a time when people who claim to be too busy suddenly have plenty of time because of some negative circumstances! Those busy schedules become unimportant. Make more time for your children, particularly, when they are young and still living with you.
Billy Graham, in his autobiography “Just as I am”, spoke on his regrets and many things he would do differently, including spending more time with his family. He said, “I have failed many times, and I would do many things differently. For one thing, I would speak less and study more, and I would spend more time with my family. When I look back over the schedule I kept thirty or forty years ago, I am staggered by all the things we did and the engagements we kept. Sometimes we flitted from one part of the country to another, even from one continent to another, in the course of only a few days. Were all those engagements necessary? Was I as discerning as I might have been about which ones to take and which ones to turn down? I doubt it. Every day I was absent from my family is gone forever. Although much of that travel was necessary, some of it was not.”
Make time for your family. Also, make time for your friends, and be sure they are godly friends. “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Proverbs 12:26 New King James Version). Making time for your friends doesn’t mean that you should become a nuisance by visiting them too often. Proverbs 25:17 says, “Don’t visit friends too often, or they will get tired of it and start hating you” (Contemporary English Version). The New Living Translation puts it thus: “Don’t visit your neighbors too often, or you will wear out your welcome.”
In 1 Kings 10:1, the Bible says that when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions. Indeed, she made time to come to hear Solomon’s wisdom based on the reports she had heard. Luke 11:31 refers to this visit thus: “The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here” (New King James Version).
After their first missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas decided to visit again the believers they had visited before. Acts 15:36 says, “Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, ‘Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing’” (New King James Version). Although they disagreed about the trip concerning John Mark, the relevant point here is that they wanted to visit the believers again to see how they were doing. Are you concerned about how those you have relationships with are doing or are you living a self-centred life? Do you visit or phone them to ask after them? Do you check on them?
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 2:13, “Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia” (New King James Version). Note the phrase: I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother. This shows his love for Titus. Titus was Paul’s companion whom he had expected to meet at Troas but was disappointed that he didn’t see him. Therefore, he went to Macedonia. Do you care about people and give them your time for visits, advice, encouragement, and so on?
Let’s see what Paul said about his trip to Macedonia to look for Titus. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 7:5-6, “For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus” (New King James Version). So Paul and Titus met and Paul was comforted or encouraged. Whom do you care about enough to invest time in? Do you look for people you have relationships with? Are you investing time in the relationships you value? The time you spend on something or with someone shows how much you value the thing or person.
Saul was in Tarsus until Barnabas departed to seek him there (Acts 11:25). The brethren had helped Saul (Paul) to escape from Jerusalem to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus when the Hellenists or Grecian Jews wanted to kill him (Acts 9:29-30). When Barnabas found Saul, he brought him to Antioch (verse 11). It was from there that the ministry of Paul got a boost (Acts 13:1-3). What could have happened if Barnabas never invested time to travel to bring him, having recognized the grace of God upon his life after his conversion?
When Jesus attended the wedding at the Cana of Galilee, do you think it was because He was idle? (John 2:1-11). When he went home with Zacchaeus, was it because He had nothing to do? (Luke 19:1-10). As busy as Jesus was in the ministry, He had a friend called Lazarus who He later brought back from the dead when he died (John 11:1-45). They must have spent much time together because He even visited Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Did you remember that Jesus visited the house of the mother-in-law of Peter when He was told that she was sick and healed her? (Mark 1:30-31). You make time for relationships you value.
In Jesus’ parable about the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 22:1-13, those who were invited to the wedding showed that they didn’t value their relationship with the king who invited them. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have made the excuses they made not to attend despite the prior invitation to them. You always have time for those and what you love.
Spend time with those you care about. This shows that you really love them. Invest more time in the relationships you value. Nurture them. People are more important than things or money.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to manage my time well to invest more time in the relationships I value. Help me to get my priorities right and use my time judiciously. I shall not neglect or abuse relationships that are important to me. I shall nurture them in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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