|Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Changing the tone of the conversation”
Our Bible verse for today: “Do not be hasty to speak, and do not be impulsive to make a speech before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:2 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You don’t necessarily have to respond.”
As a Pastor I do a lot of preaching, and it is one-way communication. I talk and the people listen. In my teaching however, it’s different. When I’m leading a Bible study I intentionally make it more interactive. I ask a lot of “guided questions” that are designed to lead people to arrive at the correct answer for themselves. However that doesn’t always work. Sometimes somebody will give a response that’s entirely off base, or that has nothing to do with what we were talking about. In such cases I have to decide how to handle it.
Sometimes, if necessary, I will correct the person. At other times however, even if their answer is out of left field and has little to do with what we were talking about, I let it go instead of correcting them. I just re-take control of the conversation and lead the group in the direction I want the conversation to go, and to the answer I want them to arrive at.
The reason I don’t correct the individual is because not every wrong statement needs to be corrected. Depending on how important the issue is, most of the time it’s actually okay and even good to just let it go and get the conversation back to where it needs to be.
Trying to correct every wrong statement someone makes, or every statement you disagree with, is a mistake that many people make in their conversations. If you are constantly correcting people all you’re going to do is annoy them. Most misstatements aren’t really that important; they can be overlooked and talked past. Sometimes the issue is important, and the wrong thing that was said does matter, but usually it doesn’t. And so the best thing to do is to just let it go.
Unfortunately some people just can’t resist responding to every statement they disagree with. In doing so they will usually try to explain, in great and prolonged detail, why they’re sure the other person is wrong on this point or that one. That’s a bad strategy that will inevitably lead to conflict and damaged relationships.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 has more to do with prayer than conversation with other people, but the basic principle applies. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes fewer words are better than more words, and often you will money-ahead if you can achieve your objective in a conversation without trying to correct every wrong thing that someone says.