Two hours after purchasing a ticket through an international discount airline, my manager informed me that our vacation days had changed. I immediately called the airlines to see if I could cancel or shift the dates of the tickets without a fee. After two hours of, “We care about our customers. . . but our policy says . . .” I realized they were more concerned with looking back at a policy and a contract that maximizes their immediate profits than having the foresight to ensure our future relationship—which has far more worth over the next 10 years than their over priced cancellation fees.

At Mount Sinai, the Israelites wanted a policy. They said, “lets put it on paper that way we can be sure everything is even-Steven.” At Calvary, Jesus fulfilled the previous contract on mans’ behalf—and established a relationship between God and Man. Man wanted protection. Man wanted to be able protect their best interest, point back and say—“You said this, I did this, that should be enough to make you happy I don’t owe you anymore—read the policy.” God, however, did not want a policy; he wanted a relationship that looked forward towards growing the relationship rather than looking backwards, exacting every cent.

In the Church, our leadership, relationships, marriages, and parenting, the same choice is presented.  We have the freedom to choose how we will interact with people. We can set up policies that limit our liabilities—exchanging our hearts for bottom-lines and guarantees. Or we can choose to have potentially sloppy, painful, relationship that require more than we could ever imagine.

Policies will stiff us with disgruntled friends and spouses—leaving our hearts stiff, jaded, and bound in fear. Love will reward us with deep friendships—opening our hearts to the joy, and the pain, of our family and friends. Although love costs much more—love makes us rich.

Aden E. Wright lives Middle East. Aden is laboring among the Muslim people groups to establish houses of prayer across the Middle East so that the Arab world might seek and find God (Amos 9:11). Aden writes at AdenEzra.com