What is Our ROI

by Terri Gillespie

Two are better than one, because they get a good return for their effort. Ecclesiastes 4:9, TLV

Back when I worked in the corporate world, a high Return on Investment (ROI) was paramount. Division heads and executives continually asked for that bottom line ROI. Too low? Get rid of the project. Great ROI? How could it be more successful or replicated?

It’s interesting the translators used a similar business term for fellowship.

For if they fall, the one will lift up his companion.

But oy [woe] to the one who falls and has no one to lift him up! Ecclesiastes 4:10 TLV

King Solomon’s sometimes depressing “proverbs” in Ecclesiastes brought an interesting concept to mind this morning. How is our fellowship or friendship ROI?

If we’re always the one “lifting up” the friend who falls, and there’s little to no reciprocity, then we might want to evaluate that “investment”. This is not assessing the value of the person, but the relationship.

I have friends that because of great distances, we’re unable to regularly “invest” in each other’s lives. However, when we do, that investment is so great, it goes a long way.

There are friends that have emotional challenges that can drain me, but if I needed them, they would drop whatever they were doing and be there to help. These are great ROIs. But what about those folks who aren’t there when we need help? In fact, their only concern is their own needs.

A relationship assessment is especially important here—and this may be difficult for those with a servant’s heart—because if we are investing without wisdom, we could be causing more harm than good.

What do I mean by this? Over the years, I’ve had to learn how to assess whether a relationship investment is for:

  • friendship,
  • fellowship, or
  • ministry.

Identifying the type of relationship determines our expectations.

Friendship: Choosing our friends prayerfully is important. Understanding both of our strengths and limitations goes a long way in developing closer relationships. Sometimes friendships are for a season, which is okay. The key to this type of investment is that return—the reciprocity. The friendship is not one sided.

Fellowship: Who we “yoke” ourselves with is important. Friendships that include fellowship, are a true blessing. But when fellowship is based on circumstances (i.e., services, ministry outreaches, teaching, Bible study), it is important to understand that our time together generally lessens when the service, ministry, Bible study, etc., conclude. No hard feelings. Just no expectations that there should be more than what it is.

Ministry: When we seek the LORD about a relationship that continues to be disappointing—that we’re always the giver and they are the taker—He may tell us that we were meant to minister to them. Our expectations would then change, right? If we don’t expect a friendship/fellowship relationship, then we use more wisdom when it comes to our investment.

NOTE: sometimes the person needs professional ministry. Just because someone is within our proximity doesn’t necessarily mean we are to make the major investment. If we find this to be the case, seek an elder or pastor of your congregation.

Of course, the relationship that brings the greatest ROI is our relationship with Jesus. His investment in us was the ultimate sacrifice, long before we were a great ROI. He didn’t give up on us. He wanted to invest in us. He gave His all and now, we are His eternal ROI.

As we enter 2022, let’s seek to invest in our relationship with our Heavenly Father and His Son—it’s a guaranteed great return. Then, let’s follow our Savior’s example of friendship, because He can show us how to see an eternal Return on Investment, too.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA)..

About the author: Award-winning author and speaker, Terri Gillespie writes stories of faith and redemption to nurture souls. Her novels, devotionals, messages, and blogs have drawn readers to hunger for a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father, and His Son Jesus.

Terri’s newly released book, Sweet Rivalry, is the story of twins separated by a troubled mother. One twin is lovingly raised by her grandmother who owns a small-town bakery. The other sister is raised by an addict mother. They discover one another through a televised baking competition. But will rivalry break them apart again? The third and final book in the Hair Mavens series, Really Bad Hair Day, is a whirlwind of changes for the mavens—marriage, love, danger, loss, and redemption. The Hair Mavens series is a modern-day Ruth and Naomi story set in a hair salon.

Join the conversation: Into which category do your relationships often fall?


10 thoughts on “What is Our ROI

  1. Valuable wisdom, Terri. I confess sometimes if I don’t get “ROI”, I give up even when the Lord wants me to persist. In these times, my insecurities kick in and I feel rejected. I’m learning more and more to find my value in Christ’s reception of me.
    On another note, I often remind myself, “An opportunity is not necessarily God’s open door.” That has helped me a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

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