So as much as profit is about giving and spending strategically this is good. We must spend strategically in the relational economy. But for some, profit means coming out on top and thus spending with one thing and one person in mind—winning and self. This type of profit is nothing short of sin. It is not a relationship but piracy.

If profit is that thing we get when our investment is less than our return, it means that we may not have invested fully in the relationship. If it fails, our loss is predictable. In all things we love not by our own power but through the power given us in Christ.

This means that my concern, in the relational economy is to see GOD's stock rise. My concern is to make sure that HIS investment profits. Since God has planted each person, has watered and grown them, our interaction should reflect his investment.

Remember, "there are NO ORDINARY PEOPLE!!!!" Every time we relate to another soul" we see the work of his hands. Each person is a work of art greater than any Michelangelo, Picasso or Monet. They are more complexly fascinating than any Dali or Escher. Each Christian we engage for romantic relationship is worth the investment and worth the great cost—profit or no profit, return or no return.

So "be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil" (Romans 16:19). Treat everyone with the respect due God's children. God's relational economy is designed for us to both give and receive, to both profit and be a profit.

Looking back at the way the world does relationships, at the way some of us used to do relationships, we can say "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ" (Philippians 3:7).



Hudson Russell Davis is a Ph.D. candidate and adjunct professor of theology at Saint Louis University.

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**This article first published on February 1, 2011.