# The Simple Math of Relationships

## Good relationships require decisions.  If you plan to have healthy relationships, some of those decisions will be difficult ones.

You will need to apply some simple math to your evaluation process; addition, subtraction, division and multiplication.  Math has two sides, negative and positive.  Addition and multiplication are the positives.  The negatives are subtraction and division.

When you apply relationship math to your relationships it’s easy to determine which side of the ledger they should be placed on.

Love is the positive in relationships.  Love adds or multiplies.  As certainly as faith without works is dead, love without action is not love.  Love GIVES.  The Bible says “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”.  If someone is not adding or multiplying, they do not belong on the positive side of your relationship ledger.

The opposite of love is not necessarily hate.  There are other clues you should be looking for.  Pope John Paul II has been quoted as saying “the opposite of love is use”.  Using or taking advantage of someone treats them like a thing, not a person.  If a relationship subtracts or divides it TAKES, and belongs on the negative side of the relationship ledger.  Indifference has also been referred to as an opposite to love.  It won’t encourage, it won’t build up, and it won’t help. It just doesn’t care. The focus and effort love requires is simply missing.

We all invest in relationships where there is no obvious return.  Sometimes it is done for the purpose of ministry.  We simply want to build someone up or help in some way.  That is love.  It is good to GIVE.  Other times we are the recipient of love when we can give nothing in return.  That can be good as well.

But in the case of HEALTHY love relationships, both people need to be GIVING.  If you are in a relationship where you are always the giver and the other person is always the taker, you might want to make some changes.  Healthy relationships will add to your life and multiply your blessings.  Unhealthy relationships will subtract from your life and divide Healthy relationships will add to your life and multiply your blessings.  Unhealthy relationships will subtract from your life and divide your blessings.  You might consider “subtracting” that person from your list of relationships.