Relationships are our most valuable human asset

Some believe the most valuable asset is time. My husband constantly teaches our girls, "Time is money." Truly time should be spent well. Yet time is a fixed commodity. There is only so much time in a day, in a week, in a year, even in a lifetime. We cannot multiply time. We cannot rebuild time. Time is what it is.

Others may say the most valuable asset is money. A common phrase is, "Money makes the world go around." Unlike time, money is not fixed. Money can grow and replenish when lost. Yet money is dependent upon relationship to expand. One must invest money into another thing or person in order to produce monetary growth.

Relationships shape humanity in ways that time, money, and things cannot. Relational value outweighs other values because relationship can simultaneously be the investment and the investor.The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People author Stephen Covey uses the term Emotional Bank Account to describe "the amount of trust that's been built in a relationship." A healthy "reserve" is built as humanity's interactions exercise love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

Spirit-empowered living is counter-intuitive to a sin-riddled existence. Relationship with God is the life element that actively determines one's eternity. One's relationship with self, with others, even with things, flows from one's relationship (or lack thereof) with God.

Relational value outweighs other values because relationship can simultaneously be the investment and the investor.

A healthy trust reserve enables healthy ebbs and flows within a relationship. All relationships have the good times and the bad. Jesus gave us the promised Holy Spirit to empower, teach, counsel and guide humanity toward healthy relationships.

So what can be done? How can humanity intentionally build an Emotional Bank Account?

1. Focus your attention.

Silent your smart phone. I do not mean put it on vibrate. Silence it! Place it out of sight and out of mind. Make eye contact and mentally engage what is being said. Let the person know they are the most important thing to you in that moment.

2. Send handwritten thank-you notes.

Appreciation is the ultimate pay it forward. Everyone appreciates appreciation. Make it a habit to say thank you for people's time, teamwork, and investment by sending a handwritten note.

3. Be a conduit of courage every day.

Your words have the power to breathe life or deconstruction into others. Make it a habit to intentionally encourage at least one person a day to exercise educated courage. Sometimes humanity just needs to know that someone believes in them.

4. Intentional Acts of Kindness

Make it a consistent habit to exercise intentional acts of kindness. Choose to serve rather than be served.

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