A Lesson from a Broken Ruler

broken folding ruler

This picture is of Dad’s folding ruler. It’s designed so each section snaps into place as sections are folded or unfolded. As a kid, I was always fascinated by this device. And as I matured, I used this tool when helping Dad. One warning Dad always assailed me with was, “Don’t flex it or it will break;” then one day I broke it. It was an accident, but I certainly knew that if I flexed it, it would break; and break it did.

Dad didn’t get angry, though the flame started. He rarely ever got angry, and he never lost his temper. Still, he’d had that tool for at least forty years before his son broke it. Being a child of the Great Depression, he kept the tool and continued to use it. Eventually, I inherited it. I love this tool.

If Dad told me once, he told me a thousand times to not bend the ruler. One day I did and it broke. It’s been broken for fifty years. From this sad event, I learned that a thousand warnings can be undone by a single mistake. And once it’s broken it stays broken. This is the way trust is.

All the times we are trustworthy may never be remembered but break someone’s trust once, and he or she will never forget it. And, like this old folding ruler, it stays broken. Oh, the folding ruler could be mended, but the scar would remain.

Likewise, the injured party may forgive, may reconcile, maybe even trust us again. Paul’s trust in the disciple Mark was restored (2 Timothy 4:11). But broken trust is never forgotten; at best, it leaves a scar. It’s always the quiet one in every room we enter.

Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.

Matthew 24:42

We should seek Jesus and receive His salvation. We should seek forgiveness for any trust we break. Amen.

Photo by me 😀

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