TargetPoint Volume 10 of 32
Todays Verse/Thought: Ministry vs. Manipulation In My Friendships
Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. -Eleanor Roosevelt
This is the secret to having lifetime friends as opposed to revolving door friendships. Over the years of my life, I have watched my wife, Cindy, handle others with her heart. Because Cindy has such an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus, she is free from the bondage of fear in her friendships. I have watched her in relationships where a friend has chewed her up and spit her out, so to speak, and Cindy simply walked in love and forgiveness toward that person.
The key to lasting and loyal friendships is to love and minister to that friend. Not walking in judgment, but when there is something questionable, taking it to the Lord.
People are not unaware when they are the object of manipulation. One usually knows when they are being manipulated rather than being ministered to. How do you feel when you realize you have been manipulated? I'll bet you would say you would feel resentful. Again, that person doing the manipulating in a friendship is a person who, OUT OF FEAR, FEELS THEY MUST BE IN CONTROL. If we can leave our response with Jesus and handle people with our hearts, our friendships will be lasting. Once a friend realizes they are being manipulated, they will begin to distance themselves.
What about your friendships? Are they long lasting or are they of the revolving door variety? Do you tend to minister to your friends, or do you attempt to manipulate them to your own advantage? The Bible says in Proverbs, . . . there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Isn't that the kind of friend you want? Isn't that the kind of friend
you want to be?
Well, here we are again! Where do we go to release that fear that causes us to manipulate rather than minister? I'll bet by now, you're beginning to get the drift that God is the only place we will find this freedom from fear, and the actual freedom to be vulnerable in friendships and relationships. ASK HIM TO REVEAL TO YOU areas where you might find yourself manipulating. ASK HIM TO HELP YOU CHANGE in your behavior, freeing you from that fear that leads you to become self-protective.
Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Ministry vs. Manipulation At Work