The Real Value of Relationships


In writing An Unhurried Life, I found Kosuke Koyama’s book Three Mile An Hour God very helpful. I’ve posted other insights from him here in “Unhurried: Is Jesus Too Slow?” and “Living Life at the Pace of Love.” I think you’ll appreciate what he has to say here about the real costs of technology and the real value of human relationships:

“Our technological resourcefulness is making our life expensive and lonely. Technology is ambiguous. It can enrich and impoverish our life. Technology is like fire; it can cook rice for our enjoyment and nutrition and it can also reduce our house to ashes.

Can we bring about an inexpensive yet resourceful life style? One way—perhaps the only way—to do this would be to cultivate, increase and deepen human relationship. Human relationship is inexpensive yet resourceful. This is grace indeed. The biblical God is the God of a covenant relationship with man. This means that the whole biblical teaching is rooted in relationship. Money has ultimate meaning only if it enhances human relationship. The salvation the Bible is talking about is ‘inexpensive yet resourceful’. If salvation is expensive in terms of hard-cash, then something is wrong with that kind of salvation.” (p. 121.)

“For Peter ‘I have no silver and gold’ means ‘I always look at silver and gold under the overwhelming sense of gratitude to God’. Or ‘what God has provided is abundant for me. I have no need for more. And I say this joyously’. This is the apostolic secret. ‘I have no silver and gold’ he said. Yet he healed the man. The secret of Peter is ‘gratitude’ and ‘Jesus’. These two combined bring healing, hope and resurrection.” (p. 141.)

The Real Value of Relationships


I was again reviewing some of my reading from the recent past and came across these insights from Kosuke Koyama’s book Three Mile An Hour God. I’ve posted other insights from him here in “Unhurried: Is Jesus Too Slow?” and “Living Life at the Pace of Love.” I think you’ll appreciate what he has to say here about the real costs of technology and the real value of human relationships:

“Our technological resourcefulness is making our life expensive and lonely. Technology is ambiguous. It can enrich and impoverish our life. Technology is like fire; it can cook rice for our enjoyment and nutrition and it can also reduce our house to ashes.

Can we bring about an inexpensive yet resourceful life style? One way—perhaps the only way—to do this would be to cultivate, increase and deepen human relationship. Human relationship is inexpensive yet resourceful. This is grace indeed. The biblical God is the God of a covenant relationship with man. This means that the whole biblical teaching is rooted in relationship. Money has ultimate meaning only if it enhances human relationship. The salvation the Bible is talking about is ‘inexpensive yet resourceful’. If salvation is expensive in terms of hard-cash, then something is wrong with that kind of salvation.” (p. 121.)

“For Peter ‘I have no silver and gold’ means ‘I always look at silver and gold under the overwhelming sense of gratitude to God’. Or ‘what God has provided is abundant for me. I have no need for more. And I say this joyously’. This is the apostolic secret. ‘I have no silver and gold’ he said. Yet he healed the man. The secret of Peter is ‘gratitude’ and ‘Jesus’. These two combined bring healing, hope and resurrection.” (p. 141.)

(A repost from February 2010)

A Good Word: Cash Rich, Time Poor


Came across this good word in my research for my Unhurried Time writing project (which is, by the way, making some progress as I’m producing a fair draft of my introductory chapter this week):

“Robert Banks notes that while American society is rich in goods, it is extremely time-poor. Many societies in the two-thirds world, by contrast, are poor in material possessions, by our standards, but they are rich in time. They are not driven or hurried. They live with a sense that there is adequate time to do what needs to be done each day.’” (John Ortberg. The Life You’ve Always Wanted. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997, p. 83.)

This has been my experience visiting poor villages in The Dominican Republic. I do not mean to glamorize their simple and often hard conditions. It’s simply to say that they have (and give) more time to community and relationships than most North Americans. On my visit, they had very little by way of material goods to offer (though great coffee!), but they had plenty of time to give me.

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The Real Value of Relationships


I was again reviewing some of my reading from the recent past and came across these insights from Kosuke Koyama’s book Three Mile An Hour God. I’ve posted other insights from him here in “Unhurried: Is Jesus Too Slow?” and “Living Life at the Pace of Love.” I think you’ll appreciate what he has to say here about the real costs of technology and the real value of human relationships:

“Our technological resourcefulness is making our life expensive and lonely. Technology is ambiguous. It can enrich and impoverish our life. Technology is like fire; it can cook rice for our enjoyment and nutrition and it can also reduce our house to ashes.

Can we bring about an inexpensive yet resourceful life style? One way—perhaps the only way—to do this would be to cultivate, increase and deepen human relationship. Human relationship is inexpensive yet resourceful. This is grace indeed. The biblical God is the God of a covenant relationship with man. This means that the whole biblical teaching is rooted in relationship. Money has ultimate meaning only if it enhances human relationship. The salvation the Bible is talking about is ‘inexpensive yet resourceful’. If salvation is expensive in terms of hard-cash, then something is wrong with that kind of salvation.” (p. 121.)

“For Peter ‘I have no silver and gold’ means ‘I always look at silver and gold under the overwhelming sense of gratitude to God’. Or ‘what God has provided is abundant for me. I have no need for more. And I say this joyously’. This is the apostolic secret. ‘I have no silver and gold’ he said. Yet he healed the man. The secret of Peter is ‘gratitude’ and ‘Jesus’. These two combined bring healing, hope and resurrection.” (p. 141.)

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Seeds and Salt: Little Things That Count


“But the deepening of the already dedicated is, in the light of Christ’s method, a matter of great importance. It is through the dedicated ones, as they become more loving and more infectious, that the world is to be changed. The world is what we seek to influence, but the truth of the gospel is that it is the concentrated ‘little’ which affects the diffused ‘big.’” (Elton Trueblood. “The Salt of the Earth.” The Yoke of Christ and Other Sermons. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958, p. 27.)

Trueblood gets at a question that I ask myself: how much time and energy am I investing in collecting a crowd, and now in deepening a core? Last month, I heard Jack Hayford speak at a gathering of pastors. When he came as an interim pastor to what would later become The Church on the Way, he said that his goal was not to build a big church but to build big people. The big church was a by-product.

The world will be changed by people who are deeply changed. And people will be changed through intentional focus and not an accidental shift. We need to be the small amount of flavorful salt that adds much more to the flavor of what it touches than its volume would suggest.

A church that is not focused on or rich towards God (Luke 12:21) won’t have much impact on the diffuse and larger world around it. Smaller isn’t automatically better, but there are small things like seeds and salt that make a great difference. Am I willing to be patient like a farmer to see something organic grow over time that will be more fruitful than something that becomes big fast through inorganic methods? It’s a question I’ve wrestled with for a long time. You?

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