Have you ever been in a relationship that seemed particularly one-sided? Maybe you’ve had a friend who got upset when you didn’t call, but never thought of calling you first. Perhaps you know someone who is clingy when they need you, but don’t have much time when you need them. Maybe your dinner invitations, phone calls, texts and emails are never returned. These kinds of one-sided relationships are never much fun and usually don’t last very long.
Now take a look at one-sided relationships as they pertain to your spiritual life. When you find yourself in trouble, do you pray for help and then neglect to give thanks? Do you only turn to God in times of need? Are your prayers always petitions, asking Jesus to do things for you? So many times we treat prayer as if it is a big vending machine in the sky – we put in prayer and hope to receive what we want, when we want it, in the exact way we want it.
This attitude is a one-sided relationship with God. Living our faith means developing a personal relationship with Jesus. It means listening to him as much as we talk to him. It means spending time with him in quiet contemplation, offering prayers of praise and thanksgiving more than we offer prayers of petition, and learning about him through his word in the Bible.
Take the time to reflect and listen to what Jesus is saying to you, as the disciples did in the Bible in Luke 24:32: “Then they said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?’” Open your eyes and your heart to his message and greet him with open arms; he’s your confidant, your partner, and your friend.
Just like a friendship with another person, there is give and take, each side listening to other. Take time in silence to listen to what Jesus is saying to you.