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from Steve Higginbotham

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That's Not What I Meant
by Steve Higginbotham
December 21, 2006
Have you heard the story about the preacher who was trying to illustrate the ill effects of alcohol and tobacco?  In order to illustrate this fact, the preacher put a worm in some alcohol and a worm in a sealed jar filled with cigarette smoke.  By the end of his lesson, the preacher showed the assembly that both the worm in the alcohol and the worm in the cigarette smoke were dead.  Looking to the assembly, the preacher then asked, "Someone please tell me, what does this mean?"  To which a young boy replied by saying, "If you drink and smoke, you won't have worms."
Well, I'm pretty confident that this is not the lesson the preacher was trying to illustrate.  But what this little story does do is reminds us that communication is not always easy.  Sometimes, we say things and what is understood is exactly opposite the message we were trying to convey.
In view of this, let me offer this suggestion.
  • Before you take offense at the words of another, please give them the benefit of the doubt (1 Corinthians 13:7).  Love demands no less.  Before taking offense, entertain the possibility that you misunderstood what they were trying to say.
In doing so, not only will it result in more peace, but it will also be treating another with the same kindness with which you want to be treated.  Give it some thought.
Copyright 2006, South Green Street Church of Christ, Glasgow, Kentucky
Permission is granted to copy these articles.