Healthy versus Unhealthy Intentions (Part 3 of 4)

Greetings and welcome to my post. Last month I invited you to think and consider what do you want when it comes to building a healthy relationship? My hope for you is that you will value and want to participate in building healthy relationships. As you do this, you will find the benefits of a healthy relationship which is growth and fruit. Remember, all healthy relationships are growing and producing fruit such as intimacy, closeness, love, kindness, forgiveness, and so forth.

But another important feature to consider when looking at the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships is the topic of intention. Intention is very important for all of our relationships because intention helps us and helps the people we are in a relationship with to know where we are coming from.

In my last post, I attempted to describe to you what is the difference between healthy versus an unhealthy intention. And the framework I used to discuss this issue was in asking you to answer this question: Do you want to forgive people or do you want to correct people? An unhealthy intention that produces no growth for the relationship is when one person pursues the other person to correct him or her.

Now I don’t know about you, but have you ever been in a relationship with someone, where you notice and find that their intention is to correct you? How does that make you feel? What is it like to be with someone who is quick to rush in and correct you when there is a problem in the relationship or when you make a mistake? Is this a warm and cozy feeling to have someone correct you?

My hunch is probably not. Sure, if you work for a cooperation and your immediate boss tries to correct you with their words, actions, confrontation, or style; that is one thing. In the world of work, seeking production and seeking ways to make improvements for high quality work may be a good idea. The challenge is this: If you have a manager who only approaches you to correct you, how motivated are you to go to work each day knowing this manager only reaction or comments to you is one of correction?

You see, at the root of correction is an intolerance for failure. Only perfection is allowed. People who are out to correct are people who feel it is their duty to fix that which is wrong or not perfect. If a mistake happens, then that person feels it is their duty to correct the person by addressing, confronting, talking, and explaining to them how they have made a mistake and this must be corrected.

But take this same approach and apply it to your marriage, to the way you are as a parent, as a friend, or with your work friends or church friends. What if you build a reputation as a person who is seeking to correct people rather than forgive them?

You see, healthy intentions of forgiveness produce fruit and benefits in which you are patient, kind, understanding and empathetic. Unhealthy intentions of correcting one another produces fear, avoidance, arguments, demands and finding ways not to interact with the person.

So the challenge for all of us is to discover the fruit and benefits of a healthy intentions in which our deepest desire is to be close to someone. When you forgive someone, you seek ways to preserve the relationship. When you correct someone, you seek ways to prove you are right and your way is correct and you feel compelled to explain that to the other person. Correcting people are focused on themselves; forgiving people are focused on the relationship. Thanks for reading.