The Edit Button
Life would be perfect if some girls had a mute button, some guys had an edit button, bad times had a fast forward button and good times had a pause button…
I am not a person who has an immediate access to an “EDIT BUTTON”. Actually, let me re-phrase that. My “EDIT BUTTON” is there….somewhere….just never close enough to my brain and my mouth, for me to use it as often as I should! And I know for a fact, that I am not the only person with this handicap! If I put my thinking cap on, I can come up with a few…..hundred names of people that I am fairly intimately connected with that are just as bad as I am. And have you noticed that for some, this handicap is even worn as a badge of honor for having attained an age where we assume we can be excused for speaking our mind, without considering how what we say feels to others? I don’t know about you, but I suspect there are more than a couple of you reading this….myself included….that could benefit from a class in “How To Speak Your mind Without Offending – 101”!
When we were children, our entire way of learning was based on sitting in a classroom and listening to the teacher. We learned listening skills from our parents and we carried those skills over into the classroom setting. And once there, if we failed to exercise those same listening skills, we were usually chastised, in some way. But as adults, our interactions with others is based more on our verbalization, which is why so many of us, once we decide exactly what it is we need to accomplish in our interaction with another, launch into speaking like we were shot out of a canon, with little thought as to how we come across. Which is how we forget that we even have an “EDIT BUTTON” which is needed so that what we say is less like an assault and more like a nudge! And, when it comes to matters of faith, even when we know that the Scriptures are the supreme authority, and we are comfortable enough in our knowledge of them to share that knowledge with others, we are more apt to get them to listen when we consider first, how it is we should speak as we share the message!
Think about Jesus ministry! Remember when He was but a child of 12 and was with His parents for the Passover feast in Jerusalem? Remember how He disappeared only to be discovered listening to the elders in the temple? Remember how, Jesus managed to get the elders to listen to the questions He posed? It was this same skill that He employed as He commenced His ministry….a skill that effectively grabbed and held the attention of people everywhere! It was His quiet air of authority, which was decidedly different from the demanding tone, complete with a total lack of any “EDIT BUTTON”, that was employed by many religious leaders of the day. He humanized faith and God’s lessons by speaking TO instead of speaking AT the people. He made Himself approachable to the common man because He WAS a common man, who eschewed wealth and power. He knew when to speak and when to employ His “EDIT BUTTON” and simply sit and listen to others. Which is why His words once uttered, were never forgotten, and why they continue to capture the hearts of people throughout the world even today!
NO “EDIT BUTTON”
11 Act according to whatever they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left. 12 Anyone who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the Lord your God is to be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel. 13 All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again.
Deuteronomy 17: 11-13 NIV
2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
Matthew 23:2-3 NIV
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