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Do You Say What You Mean?

Preachers have an unusual opportunity to listen to people. In the course of their many conversations, many promises are given, statements made, excuses offered. Perhaps it is easy to see, then, that some people do not "say what they mean":

"THEY SAY" usually means, "I heard it from at least one source, but I assume everybody believes it."

"IT NEEDS TO BE DONE" means, "I'm not going to do anything about it, but somebody ought to."

"I'VE HEARD SOME CRITICISM" usually means, "I'm against it but I don't have the nerve to speak up for myself."

"THE WHOLE CHURCH IS UPSET" means, "two or three loudmouths have turned loose their venom.

""SOMEBODY MIGHT CRITICIZE IT" usually means, "I know it should be done, but it takes too much effort for me to do it."

"IF MEMORY SERVES ME RIGHT" really means, "I'm going to say something I'm not sure of, whether true or false, but if somebody discovers I'm wrong, then I can always blame my memory."

"I WILL BE THERE IF I'M NOT PROVIDENTIALLY HINDERED"  nearly always means, "If I'm not there you can blame God for it."

"I'LL COME EVERY CHANCE I GET" usually means, "If I don't find something better to do, I might be there."

"I WON'T PROMISE ANYTHING, BUT I'LL DO MY BEST" means, "Don't expect much out of me."

"I'M STILL THINKING IT OVER" means, "I'm hoping you'll forget about it and I won't have to do it."

You can take it from there. Christians should be far more careful to mean what they say and say what they mean than people of the world. Jesus said a plain "yes" or "no" is suitable for a Christian's word (Matt. 5:36-37).

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward