Do you have a favorite tool? Maybe you use duct tape for everything or, like me, the hot glue gun is your go-to? Around the house, whatever the problem, you can bet there’s a tool to fix it. We have a lot of tools at our disposal when it comes to relationships too.
The good, the bad and the ugly… In relationships, some good tools include vulnerability, honesty and forgiveness to name a few. Some bad ones we’ve all tried out from time to time are stonewalling, manipulating (which comes in many of the latest models) and my go-to; the guilt trip.
The ugly comes in when we use these bad tools in a way that leave our loved ones feeling hurt or damaged. If you’ve ever used the handle-end of a screwdriver to pound a nail, you know how important it is to use the right tools for the job.
Recently, my daughter was hurt by a guilt trip from someone she cares about. We talked through it and realized the person who hurt her was lacking some of the good tools. We talked through grace and forgiveness and I’m sure she’ll be fine. We even did some troubleshooting on ways for her to connect with this person which were all very good, but it really got me thinking.
I have the good tools. Why am I sometimes forgetting or refusing to use them?
Sometimes I allow myself to get too busy or hurried to take the time to use the good tools. Sometimes it’s frightening to be vulnerable, and sometimes I don’t even know why I do the things I do, or say the things I say.
This week, I’m challenging myself (and you too if you’re feeling it) to pay attention to the tools I’m using in my close relationships. Awareness has to be the first step. I’ll be back next week to update and I’ll be praying for a Holy Spirit leading on the next step. May God bless you as you discover your tools. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment or reach out anytime.