Friday, May 8, 2009

Not enough just to be "right"


So I'm reading in 1 Timothy (in the Message) and came across these words yesterday;

"It's true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say." (I Timothy 1:8)

This is key advice for all of us, that basically says, "even when you're right, it's not enough to just be right."  In other words, when/if we are ever in the position of needing to correct someone or point out the error of their ways, or simply to give some sound moral advice, it is very important to consider not just what you say, but how you say it.

Really, this is just good, sound advice for all of us for many different situations.  How often we mis-understand each other or have conversations that escalate unnecessarily not because of what was said, but because of how it was said or to whom it was said.

As a pastor, this is a skill that is crucial.  I'm constantly having conversations with all sorts of people about all sorts of things.  It's important to know who I'm talking to, how they will receive what's being said, and to choose my words in a way that the message is heard.  I don't always do this well...it is something I'm constantly working on.

So how about you?  Do you choose your words carefully?

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Eph 4:29, NIV)

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