Learning to speak clearly

By Ronny McBrayer

Syndicated Columnist

I chuckle every time I hear this story.

It seems a poor fellow’s vehicle had conked out on the side of the road. After waving about like a madman for more than an hour, he finally convinced a speeding motorist to stop and help.

“If you could just push my car at a speed of 40 miles per hour,” the stranded motorist said to his newly arrived partner, “I’m convinced it will start, and I will be on my way.”

Sliding back behind the wheel of his car, the driver was relieved. The ordeal of being stuck in the middle of nowhere was finally over. He would be rolling again in a matter of seconds, all his worries behind him. Sadly, that’s exactly where his worries were: Right behind him.

As he waited for that gentle nudge on the rear bumper that would move him down the road, it never came. Looking around he discovered that his good Samaritan had disappeared. What a cruel joke! Where could he have gone?

It was then that he saw his rescuer in the rearview mirror. He was a quarter of a mile away and bearing down on the broken down car at 40 miles per hour – just as he had been instructed. But the driver had not communicated as clearly as he had intended.

We Christians tend to bumble our communication a little more than most. In these harrowing days when fewer and fewer people seem to stop and listen to what we have to say, we sometimes think the answer is to scream a little louder.

If in our passion to communicate something we feel very strongly about, said communication becomes hateful, as Christians we have betrayed our message.

The path of Christ is to love those whom we consider our opponents. And don’t be fooled; our words can be as murderous (or more so) than flying bullets and hand grenades.

So, if you are one who loves a good boycott, why not take a different tactic: A little grace, a truce, a lowering of the weapons might be a necessary change of pace.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

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