Hi, precious family ~
It can be said of a hammer that it can both build and destroy. The difference between the two depends on the mindset of the person handling the hammer at the time and it also depends on the skills of the person handling the hammer!!! 🙂 Ever seen anybody with good intentions of hitting a nail on the head and smacking their thumb instead??? Ouch, ouch, ouch!!! I hate it when that “hit the thumb thing” happens!!!
Here is a new idea I just learned so I am passing it along with love in case it might help someone besides me!!! You can decide if you want to use it or not!!! 🙂
As I have been pondering relationship interactions the past couple of days, this thought about the hammer is the thought that our Father gives to me to help explain the difference between manipulation and influence. They are similar, but the difference lays in the mindset of the person and their skills. Merriam-Webster gives these definitions:
Manipulation – 1) to manage or utilize skillfully 2) to control, change or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage
Influence – 1) the power to change or affect someone or something: the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen 2) a person or thing that affects someone or something in an important way
Jesus was a person of influence and we know that He was without sin – the Lamb of God without blemish, qualified to be our Savior from all sin. Jesus often spoke in parables to people to convey hidden things of old that pointed to new revelation – the righteous acts of God in redemption taking place in His teaching, miracles, death and resurrection. It was the bringing of previous revelation into new perspectives with comparisons. Jesus had good motives for speaking in parables because to have revealed too much too soon could have interfered with His mission of going to the cross for us. Hence, someone skilled in relationships learns how to influence people in many different ways, but it is the motive of one’s heart that our Father looks at. A man by the name of George Elliott said: “Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.” Jesus said of Himself “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)
I am sure there were times in the past when my motives have been in an effort to keep a job I liked or said things out of fear of losing people and desiring to protect people, control people to help people and causes that are dear to me. I hate it when I hurt others in the process of life!!! I repent and ask forgiveness for hurts I have caused in my day!!! God knows the motives of our hearts better than we know ourselves, but our Father gives us this guideline for living well in relationships as we move forward together as our Father’s kids of faith:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength and the second is this: love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no greater commandment greater than these.”
Love of ourselves, people and things can be powerful and can have a powerful effect upon us and those around us!!! This we can always know – the most important powerful love we have is our Father’s love for us that never fails as this song says here and never will He leave us nor forsake us as His kids of faith!!! He works good thru all circumstances for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose!!! That is a promise that we as His children can rest in!!! Our Father is our greatest treasure in all of life!!! When we are secure in that, it makes a divine difference in how we love ourselves and others!!! That is why He tells us He needs to be our first love!!! Oh our Father is sooo smart and He lives and is at work inside us to will and act according to His purpose. “He who has began a good work in us will continue it until the day of completion” that will be the day of His return to earth for us or our return home to Him. WOOOHOOO!!! How awesome that we are always learning and growing with our Father as our divine teacher who sees us thru our faith in His work on the cross as holy, blameless, without accusation and with no condemnation!!! We are already divine works of our Father – His Masterpieces upon our creation and how awesome He has given us the divine each other as family with Him helping us build each other up and love each other well. Oh that just makes me smile!!! Much love to you dear family wherever you are!!! 🙂 I am sooo thankful for the gift of you in my life to help me and love me!!! You are a blessing to me and many!!! Our Father created you with purpose to have a divine impact in this world!!! Rock on in being YOU and Father team!!! Let’s let our YES be YES and NO be NO!!! YYYEEESSS FOR FATHER!!!