My son Micah got engaged a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, congratulations Micah! We’re super excited about Courtney joining the Dye Clan.
As luck would have it, that same week Micah won his first collegiate track event. He placed first in the Discus at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette meet. Way to go Micah.
All of this of course was duly reported on Facebook and Instagram.
So the next Sunday folks were coming to me saying, “Congratulations on Micah.” I would say, “Yeah, he’s been chasing that for a long time. Finally got one. Hopefully, he’ll get a lot more.”
I’d get this really confused look.
“Wait,” I replied, “what are we talking about?”
The other person would say something like, “I was talking about his engagement. What are YOU talking about?”
“Oh, I thought you were congratulating his track meet. He won a track meet…” then I caught myself, “but we’re super excited about the engagement too…”
By then it was too late. I lost the “Dad of the Year” award again because I seemed to care more about my son’s track meet than his entire future marriage.
It happens. Communication is a crazy thing.
That’s why we have to be careful to say what we mean. “Speak the truth in love,” the Bible says. But even then things get lost in translation. It’s inevitable. Misunderstandings are bound to happen.
So what can you do about it? Well, for starters be aware of the fallacies of this crazy thing called communication. What I meant to say is often not what you heard, and what I heard is often not what you intended to say. Remember what it feels like to be misunderstood and do what you can to try to clarify.
Second, and maybe more importantly, quit being so sensitive. This is such a prickly generation. Everyone is so easily offended. I’m starting to think some people are now looking for ways to be offended.Good grief. Give a guy a break. Quit being so thinned-skinned.
If you are looking for an offense you won’t have to talk with me long to find one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened mouth to insert foot. A wise wag once said, “I’ve often regretted my speech but seldom my silence.” Man is that ever true.
I don’t mean to do it, but eventually, I’m bound to say the wrong thing.
Did I mean it? Nope. Would I intentionally hurt or offend you? Nope. And I have to assume you would never intentionally offend me either. So let’s all quit being offended. If you say something that hits me the wrong way then I’ll take it with a grain of salt. Hopefully, you will too.
Ok, so here’s the commitment: I will try really hard to be gracious in my speech AND gracious in my hearing. I purpose to be less sensitive and more gracious. Down with hypersensitivity. Up with grace.
Here’s our verse: Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”