Relationship: The Teacup and the Hammer
Relationship was in God’s mind when He created man, and it works best when we are in right relationship with Him and others. But everyone has experienced a strained relationship at some point in life. Today, I want to tell you the story about one such relationship involving a teacup and a hammer.
Once upon a time, the Master Craftsman formed a delicate tiny teacup. Almost translucent, it requires gentle loving care to fulfill its purpose of bringing joy to others. In this same workshop, He also fashioned a hammer for the express purpose of pounding nails in order to build useful projects. The teacup and the hammer—both are valuable to the Master Craftsman.
Hi there. My name is Tina Teacup. In this same workshop lives Haley Hammer, and unfortunately over the years our relationship has at times been very painful. When Haley Hammer is negative and critical, which is often, this place becomes uncomfortable for me. Many times I have been on the receiving end of her pounding, and it’s not fun. Treading lightly and afraid of being crushed again, I rationalize the hammer is having another bad day, and I try to avoid near misses in my direction. Life is so exhausting in the close one-on-one and disparaging presence of the hammer.
I have come to realize that words of affirmation are extremely important to me, and the opposite of that can cause major damage to my heart which only God can heal. My teacup heart has been shattered into a thousand pieces multiple times over the years. Each time I run to God, and He faithfully mends the brokenness once again, but each time takes time – time away from moving forward with the dream and calling God has placed in my life.
I choose to love and forgive the hammer every day for God commands it. It’s been a long relationship with Haley Hammer and not one I can easily abandon. So, I ask you, how do the teacup and the hammer continue to live in close proximity? How do I protect my heart? Do these scriptures apply to my situation? Do they? “So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium” (Acts 13:51). “Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed” (2 Thess. 3:14). “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Pro. 4:23).
Since I don’t know where Iconium is and probably couldn’t go there anyway, I have decided, for now, to limit my hammer-time; and when I must spend time with the hammer, perhaps other members of the Master’s workshop can accompany me. It’s about self-care and the need to guard my teacup heart but do it tactfully.
Relationship with another can be difficult at times and may ebb and flow. I pray my relationship with the Lord grows closer and stronger each day. At the same time, I ask for His wisdom to build a healthy relationship with the hammer in my life. Is there a hammer in your life? Take it from me: love and forgive, guard your heart, do what the Master Craftsman created you to do, and allow Him to guide you through the rough terrain of relationship.
I have learned that it is impossible to control or change another, and that’s not my job anyway. Furthermore, I can only change myself and my attitude, so I repent daily and ask God for His strength to be more like Christ. I humbly submit myself to His potter’s wheel. “Lord, can I be a heavy thick sturdy stoneware mug now?” He just smiles.