NEWBERRY — John Lesaine encouraged youth at the annual YMCA Prayer Breakfast to find and maintain positive relationships while not losing sight of the most important relationship which he said is with God.
Lesaine is a Newberry College assistant professor and the campus director of the Call Me MISTER, a program designed to increase male teachers from diverse backgrounds.
“Growing up in Manning, S.C., my parents always gave me bits and pieces of knowledge. I didn’t want to listen to my parents because I thought I knew everything. But something my mom told me was ‘relationships are very important,’” Lesaine said Friday.
Lesaine brought what his parents taught him about relationships to youth from around the county in the Newberry College dining hall.
“It’s not about how many friends you have but it’s all about the quality of relationships,” said Lesaine. “My mom said this:. ‘Your net worth is your network.’”
He explained that friends, the net worth, can either be an asset or liability and can be positive or negative.
In encouraging positive relationships and the importance of having supportive friends, Lesaine reinforced the most important relationship — God.
“Our relationships are as much horizontal as they are vertical. Think of the cross — the horizontal and the vertical,” said Lesaine. “Think of your relationships. All of those relationships mean something to you. Those horizontal relationships are important because those people rub off on you. That’s why it’s important to keep people around you.”
He read from the Bible several times and referenced a passage about how “iron sharpens iron” and illustrated this with friends positively influencing others.
Lesaine cautioned the students that there are egotistical people in the world, just like there always have been and still are. However, when students find those positive relationships, Lesaine encouraged them to hang on to them.
“Those horizontal relationships are important because they will help you make sense of your vertical relationship,” he said.
Lesaine ended the breakfast by praying for the students.
The YMCA prayer breakfast is an annual week long event and the following people helped make it possible including the Exchange Club, Newberry Electric COoperative, Aveleigh Presbyterian, St. Mark’s Catholic, Hamm Hardware and the Y board members.