I have an antique chest with wooden keyholes on each drawer. Someone hand-carved each keyhole then carefully cut out a place for the metal lock to be inserted. A craftsman used his woodcutting tools…probably early 1800’s in New England. Until lately, Americans were proficient with their tools. They were very careful to safeguard that toolbox. I recently saw a toolbox preserved in the Alaskan State Museum in Sitka. An immigrant from Germany brought his tools with him and set about building a new life. Think about your own set of tools for building relationships and your life. Have been using your home-building tools?
Cooperation, Unselfishness, Truthfulness. Each has a lot of intricacies and implications deserving of your meditation. In recent blogs, we’ve focused on how a cooperative attitude differs from negotiating one’s self-interests and how being self-absorbed is the opposite of unselfishness. Truthfulness needs to be examined too. For instance, if your husband is self-absorbed to the point of being controlling (dominating instead of lovingly leading and cooperating), you may need to be truthful with him about how that trait makes you feel. Another example might be to see if you are being too demanding and unforgiving when others fail to be totally honest with you. Think about how you are using cooperation, unselfishness, and truthfulness in building your own relationships. We need to fill our rooms with them rather than more stuff.
“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (Proverbs 24:3-4).
As I write this from a Christian’s perspective, I am saddened at how many times I’ve missed the mark of being unselfish, cooperative, or truthful. Only faith in the death and resurrection of my Lord Jesus Christ to cover those misses and set the stage for forgiveness and grace keeps me hopeful and persistent. I hope you are familiar with these same biblical experiences of forgiveness and hope. If not, why not?