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Relationships: Friend for a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime


20090614su-flower-300-DSC08883Summary. The writing below is based on an email that has been circulating. It offers an interesting insight into relationships.

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A Reason, A Season, A Lifetime

People generally come into your life for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime.

Understanding this principle can enhance your relationships by helping you better serve others and learn or grow from what they have to offer.


When someone is in your life for a REASON, it may be they have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance. They may be in your life to support you physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

difficult person can challenge you to grow in patience, forgiveness, and/or understanding. Some people may test your strength, commitment, willpower, determination, and/or ethics. A positive and supportive person who comes into our life may seem like a blessing and godsend; and they are. In either case, the person has come into your life for the reason needed.

One day, seemingly without any reason, the relationship may come to an end. This may happen over time as you drift apart, or more suddenly. It may be a positive experience such as someone getting married or moving to another city to take a job offer. Or, the relationship may end through negative circumstances that force you to take a stand on an issue.

What we must realize is that a need has been met – for you and for them. Perhaps it was an unknown need, or maybe it was an answer to a prayer. If the relationship has ended, then reflect, give thanks, consider what you learned, think about what you could/would do better next time (even if you felt the relationship was a good one), forgive if needed, hope/wish/pray the best for that person, and then move on in your journey.


Some people come into your life for a SEASON — an extended period of time. Just as there are seasons for planting, growing, and harvesting; in your  life, there are seasons when you are prepared to learn, grow, or produce. There are other times in your life when you’re not prepared to grow, learn, or even listen. So, when someone comes into your life at a certain season, it is (hopefully) because the timing is right for what they can offer you.

This person may bring you an experience of great peace, joy, or happiness. They may empower you to do something you have never done before. They may you assurance and strengthen your self-confidence. Accept this, and embrace it. It is real. Yet, maybe for only for a season.

Consider… In life, you may have tasks on a To Do list as well as long-term projects that need to be pursued over a period of weeks, months, or years. In the same way, those who come into your life for a short-term Reason, may help you check something off our To Do list. Those who come into your life for a Season will (hopefully) remain for the duration of a more complex long-term purpose.


Some people are in your life for a LIFETIME. These people are, perhaps, the greatest blessing because they stick with you through the Reasons, Seasons, and through your entire lifetime. Lifetime relationships teach you lifetime lessons. These are often qualities, skills, and aspects of your character you must build upon in order to have a solid foundation for yourself and in service to others. Be sure to acknowledge, value, be thankful for, and love the people who are in your life for a lifetime. Apply what you have learned. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Your Assignment: Reflect, Learn, Grow

Here are some practical ways to more deeply understand and apply the above writing.

  • Take time to be intentionally and contentiously thankful for everyone in your life; whether they are in your life for a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime.
  • Know that you are in other peoples’ lives for a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime. Re-read the above writing, and think about your family, friends, colleagues, clients, and acquaintances.
  • Ask yourself, “What calling and purpose am I best equipped to help this person in their life on their life’s journey?” You may or may not feel you know if you are in their life for a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime.
  • Consider, meditate, and pray about how you can best be of service on every level for everyone you know. If you’re in someone’s life for a reason, don’t bail out on them prior to seeing things through.
  • In relationships we give and receive. Don’t presume you are in someone’s life to serve them for a reason, season, or lifetime without considering what it is you need to learn or receive from them.


With all the above in mind, watch the video If Today Was Your Last Day by Nickelback.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com