Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sound Investments: E-Day

Evaluation day is never an easy day.  The day you have set in your mind to go over everything you’re involved in, everything you want to do, and all the resources you have in order to make decisions to increase or decrease your time, or money, spent.  Some people call it budget day or balancing the checkbook.  I call it E-Day.

On this E-Day, I was looking at some relationships I have been (and in some cases, still am) involved in.  Friendships, partnerships, and even family involvement, have all been evaluated.  I have prayed over them, allowing God to show me where I need to spend more time and energy and where I need to withdraw.  I wanted to be sure because whenever you evaluate relationships, inevitably there will be feelings hurt and emotions flaring up.  Conflict is, sometimes, unavoidable.

I think about how my heart aches for some friends who have been estranged for quite a while now.  The connections we shared were like a sibling relationship at times.  At time, I even want to call them or spend time with them.  

Then I remember what God was calling me to do to begin with.  Evaluation.  The message I received today was quite clear.  Are you focused or are you distracted?   

Today, God showed me a bit more about where I should be sowing in the Kingdom.  A lot of us, including me, have broadcasted our investments and scattered them to the wind, not knowing where they would land and if they would bring an investment.  What happens when a seed is planted after being blown around for a while?  The first person who happens upon the fruit will benefit from the harvest.
 We sow abundantly but then fail to sow intentionally.  We sow generously but without checking the ground that we sow into.  

I want people to understand that the Kingdom of God is a very intentional Kingdom.  We know this because God’s word says that He is a God of order (1 Cor. 14:40, Col. 2:5) and because God doesn’t do anything haphazardly.  

It works for finances, time, emotions, and intelligence.  If you study, you will learn.  If you study subjects that are beneficial, such as grammar, math, or more specific, nursing, business, or teaching, you will receive a return of a career, knowledge, and understanding of the field you studied, and eventually an income.

Financially, if you invest in the right areas, such as money marketing accounts, CD’s, or even an IRA or 401k, you will receive, dividends, interest, and retirement income!  However, investing poorly or not at all, can cost you everything.  

So, today I have been looking at my time and relationships that I am invested in.  Most of them are healthy and balanced.  Some of them need prayer and work, on my part or God’s (and the other person’s too).  However, there are some investments that are going nowhere.  These people are the ones who want to dispute or argue everything we discuss.  They complain about their circumstances at all times and when I am around them, I feel so heavy and weighed down.  When I leave their presence, I feel I have to drink 2 energy drinks, pray for an hour, and find some kind of relief for the sorrow.  Serously!  No matter what kind of encouragement I give, no matter how long I pray with these people, they always have excuses why my suggestions won’t work, why they won’t get any better, and why they are simply doomed to misery!  So, I ask myself, why am I investing my time, creativity, energy, and emotions in these people?  They distract from the mandate of what I have been given to do.

There are also those who would eat up my time, pulling on my skills.  You know… the ones who always need a favor?  Teaching them to do things on their own would be great because then they could be self sufficient.  However, these people don’t want to learn, they want me to do it for them, to volunteer my time and skills to benefit them.  These people must be given an opportunity to learn, however, if they refuse the opportunity, they only hurt themselves.  I cannot be responsible for their success or failure.  I have given what I was given… knowledge.

Finally, there are those who would cling for my affection and emotions.  This area is especially delicate because these are the ones we would love to cling back to.  These people want your support, companionship, and love.  However, the fine line between healthy attachment and obsession is often blurred in the sand when everyone is shuffling their feet.  Be careful of the ones who cling for your affection.  Too much of a good thing, can suffocate you!   

The bottom line is this… God will direct your path if you follow Him (Prov. 3:6).  If you seek Him first, then everything else (including relationships and direction) will be given to you (Matt. 6:33).  

In Matthew 25, Jesus talks about the business man who invested in three of his servants.  Two brought back an increase, whereas one brought back only what was given.  His was taken away and given to the servant who brought back the biggest increase.  Why?  Because the man knew that the productive servant would continue to increase the investment.  So, he ceased business with the stagnant servant and moved his investment elsewhere.

My hope is that, if there are any other people out there, wondering about some of their relationships or evaluating their investments, that this will help you begin seeking God through your E-day.  

What is His vision for your life?  Will the relationships I am currently involved with help me accomplish this goal?  Am I investing in the areas that God wants me to invest in?  (Not necessarily JUST to benefit me, but that which will bring the best investments for my Master’s Kingdom!)

God bless you as you seek and serve Him!

1 comment:

  1. May God help you to be a balanced mixture of grace, compassion and good stewardship as you use His gifts of energy, talent and availability.