Daily Devotions
 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

THANKS FOR RELATIONSHIPS

Today, I give thanks for the relationships in my life.  Aristotle defined three types of relationship.  There is the relationship of utility, i.e., you do something for me and I will do something for you.  There is the relationship of pleasure, i.e., you enjoy the company of a neighbor, fellow workers, or fellow volunteer working on a project to make the world a better place in the name of Jesus.  And, there is the relationship of virtue, i.e., a relationship of giving without the expectation of receiving in return.

I thank God for all three types of relationships.  It is a good feeling to walk away from any business transaction feeling that is a win-win transaction.  Positive utility relationships are gifts from God.

I thank God for those who share my values, my sense of humor, and some of my pain.  Friendships are a gift from God and as such I am thankful.  

I thank God for my family, my wife, my children, and close friends who no matter what will continue our relationship.  They are gifts from God.

This May I added a new category of relationship to Aristotle’s list; the relationship of casual, very casual encounters with others.  This addition came about because of an email sent to me by a friend.  The email included a two minute 29 second Ted Talk video about the indicators of longevity.  In descending order of importance, the top 10 indicators are: 1. Social integration (encounters and small talk with others)  2. Close relationships,  3. Quit smoking, 4. Quit boozing, 5. Flu vaccine,  6. Cardiac rehab, 7. Exercise, 8. Lean vs overweight, 9. Hypertension Rx, 10. Clean air.

I was not surprised the relationship of virtue was on this list.  But, I was shocked to see the # 1 indicator of longevity was social integration.  I was surprised saying hi to Kroger associates or saying good morning to the individual walking a dog past my house was a plus for my longevity.  I was surprised asking a fellow church member in the narthex what they thought of FC Cincinnati, or the Reds, or those Bengals was a plus for my longevity.  I was surprised as I began to realize these encounters were gifts from God.  So today, I thank God for all of those causal encounters that enrich my life.

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