No one is in your life by accident. Do you believe that? Well, the Bible says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm139:16b). And there are many other passages that teach us that God orders our steps and has a plan for our lives.

I should define that by “in your life” I mean someone who has more than a casual or occasional acquaintance with you. I’m talking about people that affect your life in some significant way.

What is the responsibility we have to the people who are in our lives? There are covenant relationships and contractual relationships. Your covenant relationships are those where no one can take your place. You’re the only mother or father your children have; the only mate your wife or husband has; no one else can take your role as daughter or sister or son or brother. Those are covenant relationships, and obviously they are of utmost importance. Certainly they are not in your life by accident.

For the covenant relationships of our lives, we must be aware of our responsibility to fulfill our duties and promises to those people. If we don’t, nobody else will or can—not the way God intended for us to do it. Have you been neglecting your covenant relationships? Perhaps you’ve been taking them for granted and simply not appreciating those people like you should. That’s easy to do.

Why not let one of those covenant people know how you feel about them? Tell them how glad you are God put them in your life. Reaffirm your commitment to them. Acknowledge that they are of utmost importance because they are covenant relationships. Ask God to help you appreciate them more.

The contractual relationships of your life are those which, though sometimes important, can indeed be filled by someone else. Your job is an important part of your life, but guess what—if you walk out tomorrow, somehow they’ll survive without you. We owe a lot to our contractual relationships, but they should never have as high a priority in our lives as our covenant relationships do. If you get the priorities reversed, it can cause a great deal of harm and stress.