There’s an ebb and flow in building relationships. Some build easily as the tide of opportunity flows in; while some wash away as the tide goes out. We may desire to hold tight to the relationship, but an undertow of tide can render destruction.
Undertow is an offshore pull or rip current that can drag a person or a thing below the surface, and even further out to sea. Criticism towards another is a relationship undertow that deems the other person as being ‘the problem.’ Whether the truth is faced or not, the current pulls the relationship downward.
Defensiveness is another under current that reveals itself as counterattack. Whenever we feel threatened with truth about ourselves, we may either take flight or we fight back. Fight against that rip tide and it will take the relationship further out to sea.
Over-confident people can believe they are stronger than the under current in relationships, saying to themselves: “I’m better than they are.” Such contempt only puts one at greater risk of losing ground. The feet will slip right out from under the one who believes he or she can stand against the tide of contempt.
One might ignore the rip tide by shutting down or tuning out; yet, they can find themselves relationally shipwrecked. Stonewall by ignoring the symptoms and lose what could otherwise have been a tremendously valuable relationship.
“[The Lord] will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.” [Psalm 121:3-8]
What a friend we have in Jesus. Watch out for the rip tide that drags us away from Him ~ and from others.