Anemia: A condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues.
I like this word.
Not because it's such a positive word - it's not. It's a word that indicates weakness. But it is a powerful word in that it succinctly describes a multi-symptomatic condition.
I think many of us live anemic lives, full of anemic relationships.
Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood. It's commonly caused by: blood loss (such as through hemorrhage), excessive blood cell destruction, or deficient red cell production. It leads to hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen, in the body. All cells in the human body need oxygen in order to function; therefore, hypoxia has a wide range of symptomatic consequences.
The most common symptom is weakness, or fatigue.
Let's see if we can apply all of this to relationships.
Poor relationships are a common disorder. They are caused by: ignorance, apathy and laziness leading to a lack of love. All people need love (from God and for one another) in order to function; therefore, a failure to cultivate relationships has a wide range of symptomatic consequences.
The most common symptom is a weak spiritual life.
Our relationships, much like the organs in our body, may be receiving just enough to maintain a weak viability. But then they will also be under-served, under distress, and under-performing.
Who wants that?
What's the cure?
Here's what I think.
We have to be intentional about our relationships, not just with God, but also with each other. There's a reason that Jesus said everything in the bible is summed up in loving God and loving others. Those 2 things are linked. But it doesn't just happen. It takes things like: work, vulnerability, inconvenience, pain. But I think it can also be: invigorating, satisfying, meaningful and beautiful. Our flesh hates that first list, but our spirit knows the second list is true and right. The first list is temporary, the second list resonates through eternity. We should be heaven-bent on a quest to subdue our flesh, and force it to do the things our spirit knows is true and longs for.
What would that look like? What would our relationships look like? What would our lives and our families look like if that was a reality? Why should we give in and accept anemia?
There are consequences to pay when our relationships are on life support. Instead, through Christ, we can support others lives, who in turn support ours.
Are you feeling strong? Keep an eye out for those who are weak and share your strength.
Are you feeling weak? Ask for, and be willing to receive, love and help.