Are you sure?

Use words carefullyby Stan Mitchell

It’s amazing how the things people say do not always match up with reality. Consider the person who begins a statement with the words, “I may be wrong, but …”

Usually he really means, “There’s no way that I could be wrong!”

Consider the person who says, “I hate to say I told you so.”

Of course he’s enjoying it immensely!

And what about the one who says, “I’m sorry if I have done anything to upset you.”

What he really means is, “You’re so hypersensitive. This shouldn’t have upset you!”

There are two things which young people find hard to do in sports; winning and losing. It’s hard to lose gracefully, and it’s hard to win graciously.

It is also hard in a family — whether it be a church family or a physical one — to win and lose. It’s just so hard to hide that gleam of triumph when you were right after all, the satisfied smirk when your dire prediction of “disaster” came true.

As if you’re glad to see God’s people hurt. That is sad!

One writer used to repeat a line that makes a lot of sense: “If you’re wrong, admit it,” he would declare, “and if your right, shut up!”

Paul said it this way: “Let your gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5 NIV). Elsewhere, he said, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21 ESV).

Being “right” does not justify acting unkindly towards others. You can differ with another without attempting to destroy him. The question I always ask myself when speaking to another is this: Have I equipped him, enabled him, to serve God and God’s people better?

To quote the apostle again, “Let all things be done for building up” (1 Corinthians 14:26). Why should this be? Simply put, because we always view others as being more important than ourselves (Philippians 2:1-4).

Don’t we?

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3 thoughts on “Are you sure?

  1. “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him,
    And He turn away His wrath from him.” Proverbs 24:17-18

    At times when I have a conversation with others about things in which we disagree I try to remember that it shouldn’t be about “who” is right, but “what” is right. A lot of the times we loose this principle when things start to get too personal.

    Good thoughts, Stan.

  2. What I find sad is, when you have a difference of opinion, or a difference in understanding, rather than hearing what you are trying to say, they automatically take the offense, you are totally wrong, and they become argumentative, wanting you to only hear their side, they are are totally out in left field if you will . And the saddest part to me is that 90% of the time I am referring to is Preacher’s rather than laymen. It is hard to put faith in what they say because of this.

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