The unexpected phone call…it can bring good news and it can bring devastating news. Last night it was the latter. A family friend had passed away. Completely unexpected. Rob and I were able to spend some time with the family last night. These are the moments I feel so unprepared for and so inadequate. I have learned the best way to reach out to someone in need is to do what the Bible tells us to do, to mourn with those who mourn. Raw grief is hard, but it expresses often the depth of relationships.
Reflecting on how precious life is, I am reminded of what my brother, Howie, would always tell me during his days in hospice care. “Keep short accounts!” he would tell me, explaining that relationships are important and that when things get in the way it’s so important to deal with the issues and to keep short accounts, to live a life without regret, to make sure to the best of your ability and with God’s help that you don’t let distance, bitterness, neglect, or anger grow in a relationship. May sound easy, but it can be hard. The good news is that where there are unresolved issues, it begins with a first step. Don’t wait for the other person, step out and be the first one to make a phone call, write a letter, give a hug, say you’re sorry. Take it slow and lean on God for wisdom, reach out for some life-giving counsel if it’s needed, from God’s Word or from a friend who will give you godly, wise counsel. Life is precious. Relationships are precious. Treat them well – keep short accounts.
Keep short accounts with God and men. Don’t lock bitterness and guilt within the closet of your soul.
Philippians 2:3,4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.
I am doing personal inventory this morning. Asking God to reveal to me the places in my relationships where there is work to do. Will you join me?