There’s a prevailing stance on relationships that I find both intriguing and disturbing. It starts with the idea that each of us is the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Where this leads can be beneficial or dangerous – depending on whether I continue to embrace loved ones who may (or may not) fully represent what I aspire to become or reject them in favor of pursuing relationships based on superficial and possibly meaningless measures, such as net worth or perceived business acumen.
There’s truth in the thought process that we’re affected by people with whom we interact regularly. There’s also value in the concept that we should intentionally invest in certain relationships and abandon others. But choosing who benefits from my relationship efforts and by what standard — without a proper guide — seems treacherous.
As a Christian, I wondered what I might learn from how Jesus lived and what he taught his disciples about relationships. I decided to start with the Gospel of Matthew and then build upon my knowledge. I’m not a theologian and I’m sure I have personal biases … but wanted to share what I’ve learned. Here are some thoughts on making choices about investing in relationships: