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Protecting Your Investment
By Victoria Osteen - Mar 21, 2011
When you buy a house, over time, you will build equity. Sometimes it takes longer than you anticipated. Sometimes the market is down; sometimes it's up. Sometimes you see houses that you think you'd like better. But if you'll keep being faithful, if you'll keep making those payments and taking care of your investment, it will pay off in a big way down the road. The same is true in relationships. The most rewarding relationships are built and proven over time. They take effort, investment and self-sacrifice. But sadly, when it comes to facing challenges in relationships, our culture today makes it easy to focus on the short term, seeking self-gratification rather than considering the long-term value of the investment made in that relationship.

Think about this: if you had a beautiful house with $50,000 in equity and then discovered a $1,500 plumbing problem, it may seem like a big deal at the moment; but compared to what you have invested, it's really a rather small problem. You wouldn't just turn your house keys over to the bank and walk away from it over a $1,500 issue. No, you'd figure out some way to get that repair done. You might get a second job or work out a payment arrangement. Either way, you would make the effort to get that problem fixed so you could live comfortably in your house and protect your investment. In home ownership, it's easy to get bent out of shape over a problem like a roof leak, but that can be repaired. Instead, why not focus your energy on being thankful that you have a roof over your head! The same principle is true in relationships. Many of the day-to-day annoyances may get us bent out of shape. It may cost us something to repair a relationship—it may cost our pride, it may cost some time and effort, it may even cost going to get some professional help, but it won't cost nearly as much as what you would lose if you walked away. We have to keep the right perspective and keep investing in what we have.

Today, I encourage you to take a step back and look at what you have invested in your relationships. Maybe you're facing some difficult times, but consider all you've come through so far. What's the value of the time, energy, heart and commitment you've invested? Instead of focusing on the problems, choose to focus on the treasure of the relationship. Focus on the future. Focus on allowing patience to have its perfect work. When you get the right perspective in relationships, those frustrations and challenges seem much more manageable, and it empowers you to protect the investment you have in your relationships!

Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2–4, NKJV).
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