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Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Gift of Disillusionment

My grandfather used to say “A person who will steal for you, will steal from you.”

This entry will hopefully challenge you to evaluate not only the way that you trust, but help you to look past the superficial displays of those close to you and understand how to dig deeper into character before you invest hope in someone. When it comes to relationships, trust is not optional, it’s required – if you want the relationship to be truly successful. The greater question becomes how do you learn who you can really trust and what do you look for to avoid learning the depth of your misguided trust by the gravity of their betrayal?

My grandfather’s quote is a reminder that the evaluation of a person’s character doesn’t begin when the big challenges arise, it begins immediately with every small interaction you have with those around you. In this particular situation, it was one of the crewmen working for my grandfather’s business. He was a very nice guy and had worked for my grandfather for a few years. We had just finished working on an elderly lady’s property when my grandfather noticed an extra lawn mower in the truck. After he inquired a few times of its origin, this crewmen spoke up stating that it had been sitting under the house and the lady probably didn’t even know it was there. It was in very bad shape and though she didn’t verbally say he could have it, he figured she would never use it and he would fix it up for my grandfather to use for his business.

My grandfather returned the mower to the elderly woman with a humble apology and without naming names. When he returned to us, he told the crewman that it was his last day working with him. The crewman tried to explain that his intentions were good; my grandfather just simply stated the quote above. You see, the crewman’s actions made my grandfather question his integrity, his decisions and consider the “what if” factor that turns a reflective moment into an introspective moment. In my grandfather’s wisdom he knew the action was more than just a simple slip-up, it was an indication of the condition of the crewman’s heart that surfaced without provocation. Furthermore, had he accepted the stolen gift, he then was guilty of the same thievery and it has been well said that there is no honor amongst thieves.

Much like the post “Gossiper Beware” from January, we should continually observe the actions of those around us to understand those characteristics that can only be seen by watching what they do, not listening to what they say. Just like love is a verb, so is trust, respect, communication – all of the components of great relationships and whether it’s someone you are dating who disrespects their parent, someone spreading gossip about someone else or a friend that you catch in habitual “little white lies”, keep your eyes open for the signs of their hidden personality, and be realistic about your ability to become a victim of those damaging characteristics. My prayer is that you continually evaluate the company you keep and in those times of question, you seek counsel from the one who loves you most…God. Be Blessed.

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