When I walked up to this dear sister of mine to have a brief chat with her, she said to me, “I thought they said you were a proud person”. I was surprised. She said some people told her already that, “I was proud, and she should not bother relating with me”. I guess they chose the wrong words. I was a bit serious-minded anyway.

Long story short, we ended up as great friends. Our relationship has translated to even my wife and children today. She has been a great blessing and resource person for some of the things I needed to get done.

At another time, someone walked up to me in camp and asked for a book I was reading, I teased him by saying, “Buy the truth and sell it not. Go and buy from those who sell”. We did not talk again until some months later when he reminded me of that episode. I told him I was teasing him. Today, we are still brothers. We both discovered that we were avid readers. At one point, we were roommates. We shared heart to heart.

Both friends of mine are very intelligent high-flying executives today. We still spend hours talking once we have the chance on the phone or we get to see. They have played great hosts to my family whenever I am in their cities.

First, there is no wisdom in pride. You need people in life. It takes a lack of wisdom to say, “I do not need anybody”. That is not true.

Also, there is no humility in some kind of silence. At times, it is poor self-esteem that cannot build relationships.

One of my favourite scriptures on the importance of relating with people is the story of the city of Laish that was destroyed for just one reason:

So they took the things Micah had made, and the priest who had belonged to him, and went to Laish, to a people quiet and secure; and they struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire. There was no deliverer, because it was far from Sidon, and they had no ties with anyone. It was in the valley that belongs to Beth Rehob. So they rebuilt the city and dwelt there.

Judges 18:2728 NKJV

They were a quiet people and secure. Quietness is not a reason why you should not build relationships. A sense of security is not an excuse for not building bridges. You will need that friendship one day. I know those who have gotten jobs and business deals through friendships.

They were struck down and burnt with fire. There was no deliverer. Why? It was far from Sidon, and they had no ties with anyone.

Networking and building relationships are not about the number of contacts you have. No! It is about the value of the relationship. One loyal friend can be more powerful than a hundred contacts.

You do not have to dissipate your energy trying to service many relationships but be sensitive enough to know the ones that are very key and profitable for your life’s journey. Ask the Lord for grace to discern and see people beyond the present. Imagine you invest your time and energy into building one or two great friendships rather than the “touch and go” mindset. It pays more.

I pray for you: May the Lord bless you with great relationships that will outlast this season. Grace.

temilOluwa Ola, Eruwa

There is love in sharing

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