There are some relationships where those in positions of authority will want to handle those within their sphere of influence. Under these handlers, the team, mission, or a product’s image requires that all participants toe a defined line even if toeing that line restricts the freedom of expression. This creates a controlled and dishonest work and relational environment.
The word “handler” refers to someone who handles or directs a person. There are political handlers who direct a candidate’s campaign image telling the candidate what to say or do therefore shaping a public image. Pastors can do this with their staff. So can a spouse in a marriage. The common thread of those being handled is control. When this control is finally realized, trust is violated.
Being handled removes the free exchange of opinion, some of which might be the word of the Lord. Handlers shut the door on insight from outside the tightly controlled perimeter of a relationship. Those under this kind of control are being handled toward a preferred outcome or image. These are not always the outcomes or images the ones being handled would desire if they had known what was taking place when they first signed on. In those moments when the control is realized, the fear of loss will arrive in an attempt to manipulate the response of those being controlled to not step out of line.
The only safe and trustworthy handler is the Spirit of God who will never violate a relationship demanding conformity as a tool of control. This is where the integrity of the ones being handled will be challenged, so will their courage.