“Whew, glad I got that one off my chest!”
Have you ever uttered these words? Or perhaps you have been nagged for eons by the wisdom you would like to share but just don’t feel it is the right time or place. So today I thought I would lay out the why and when you should say what you need to say. Or not.
First of all, we have to carefully determine if we are in a place where sharing our thoughts or opinions is going to be helpful. Let’s just suppose you and I had a little falling out (ok, it happens). No matter how tactfully I may hand the situation, it is unlikely that I’m now in a place of admonishment.
Yep, the land of sharing our opinion of a wise or proper course of action. It’s not about you, it’s about the person who desperately needs our help.
Next up: speaking the truth in love. Do you genuinely care for and want to help this person in need? Right there is the why.
“Ground wisdom in His words… not yours.” Michelle Myers lit it up with “when life is so much more complicated than uttering the dude word”
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:14-16
Always seek to buildÂ the other person up – knowing in the short-term it may be difficult for them.
I often find I’m more likely to share my thoughts and opinions with my daughters than with a co-worker. That’s fine, I may even pull of admonishment with a relative using a quip. If the co-worker is smoking cigarettes I am probably going to be more likely to offer them encouragement to quit if we share a close friendship.
Of course, we can choose the venue…
And the when?
Remember from Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… a time to be silent and a time to speak…
and sometimes not… consider the nosy neighbor…
So I had a fellow blogger ask for some input recently. This friend is rather accomplished… bestselling author… tons of fans, followers and likes. I think he knows me well enough to discern that I’m not a pundit but simply an honest fan, so I shared with him that it often seems he is more interested in advancing his own kingdom than that of the Lord.
That’s the why and when you should say what you need to say…
One more thought:
Let’s say you find yourself on the other end of the stick, someone is sharing their wisdom with you this time around. Here’s some great advice:
Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
Test everything to see if it jives with God’s word. Disregard the shower of Babel…
His word is perfect and complete. Need we say more?
What suggestions can you provide for “helping a brother out” through admonishment?
Thanks, Chris. I’ll highlight this on the Christian Poets & Writers blog – http://christianpoetsandwriters.blogspot.com – and pray that God gives us the perfect time, place, and winsome words in Jesus’ Name.
“winsome” … love that one Mary!!
I’m learning to ask God first, to seek His timing and words and not just simply share “my knowledge” because I have it.
You’re right, timing matters. The attitude in which we convey a message matters, our intentions matter (do we really want to help or just make a point).
we must have the mind and heart of Christ. He wants to build people up, to help them become more like Him. He isn’t about tearing people down or making them feel bad.
Great post. Thanks.
So awesome, love your thoughts on this one. Thanks TC!!
This is so important, Chris. I struggle frequently with email venues. The lack of my smile, tone and body language can make what I say “sound” harsher than I intend at the other end of the computer screen.
Often I type, pray, retype, consider and pray again before sending off thoughts to members of my critique groups. You just never can be sure how things are received at the other end. (sigh)
So true about emails… some conversations just have to be in person to carry the tone of caring, particularly when it is a sensitive subject. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Carol!!