I like a boss who is engaged in the business, knows and understands what I do, yet doesn’t micro manage; a rare combination. I like friends who listen well, seem to have a sense for what is going on in my life, yet doesn’t interfere or give direct every time we talk. The combination is even rarer still. I like kids who engage with their parents, generally stay out of trouble, and do not require personal interventions. I am lucky to have these in my life!
There is a fine line between being engaged and driving each other crazy. Far too often the line is blurred because one side decides that they know better and in turn impose on the other. When this happens “freedom” kicks in and rebellion begins! It doesn’t matter how old one is, what type of job one is in, or how much we like each other. Unless I have given permission, I hate being told what to do. Without prior consent, stay out of my space!
The fine line continues when someone has earned trust and respect. A friend who knows me well and has taken the time to walk some steps with me is free to pose the difficult questions that I need to grapple with. Someone who shares the struggles can extend a hand of friendship and offer guidance. I expect that those who have earned trust and respect to offer opinions and viewpoints. Each action comes from a human being who lives and shares steps with compassion, acceptance, and love.
With both sides in mind I found it fascinating to reflect on God’s role in a series of judgments. John records that he “heard a shout of from the Temple to the Seven Angels: ‘Begin!’” (Revelation 16.1) Was this someone engaged to drive us finally over the bend or a friend? If God has a legitimate right to be involved then what difference does my opinion have or hold? Is God friend or foe? Does God’s offer of relationship mean anything?
Your answers can link peace with purpose.