Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Impressions pre-reset: 420826 Clicks pre-reset: 872

Keeping the Faith - Clear Communication is Compassionate Communication

ronniemcbrayer300 cKENTUCKY (1/5/14) — 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 banshee 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. Picket signs. Demonstrations. Boycotts. Petitions. Displays of righteous indignation accompanied by red faces and bulging carotids. The result is indeed clearer communication. It’s clear that we are mad as hell about something.

Without a doubt most Christians want to see serious change in the world. I do too. I would love to see less violence, greater compassion, a moratorium on our limitless consumerism, and fewer public displays of vulgarity, just to name a few. But the solution is not to meet what we regard as societal inadequacies with the equal inadequacies of being judgmental, taking revenge, waging cultural warfare, and condemning every person who doesn’t agree with us.

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. The way of Jesus is to engage and pray for our enemies, not to kill them. And don’t be fooled; our words can be as murderous (or more so) than flying bullets and hand grenades.

Mahatma Gandhi was a man that the world including the Christian universe of which I am a part could learn a great deal from. He revolutionized India with his leadership of the Indian Independence Movement, and he perfected the philosophy of non-violent resistance. He met the injustice and oppression of his day with peace, integrity, and resolve.

Gandhi famously said, “We must become the change we wish to see in the world. That is, if I want a less violent society, I must become less violent. If I want to experience more compassion, I must become compassionate. If I want less consumerism, I should pull my own leg out of the commercialistic trap. If I want to protect my children from overt sensuality, then I should teach them respect for others, the value of a person and the human body, and I should probably turn the TV off earlier in the evening”.

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. And if you have been on the receiving end of a few displays of virtuous disapproval, cut some slack for your accusers as well. We’re all just trying to get the car rolling again, but without clear communication, it is nothing but a wreck waiting to happen.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is The Gospel According to Waffle House. You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

3/13 - 16
button coupons
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16
button classifieds

In Other News...

Christian County Traffic Advisory

CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Ky. (11/22/14) — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to restrict northbound traffic to one lane… Read More

In Times of Adversity, Our Nation Has Always Given Thanks - By Representative Myron Dossett

FRANKFORT, Ky. (11/23/14) — In the coming days many of us will travel tens, hundreds, or in some cases thousands of… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

November 21, 2014 5227

Man Accused of Assaulting Coach During Basketball…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
November 18, 2014 5126

Couple Charged for Concealing Food in Infant Car…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 17, 2014 4618

Police Charge Woman for Drug Possession After…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 17, 2014 3812

Bremen Woman Ejected From Vehicle During Kentucky…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper S.C. Recke
November 21, 2014 3197

Crashing Dump Trucks in Work Zone Cause Pennyrile…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
November 18, 2014 3125

Area Talent to Film Music Video at Merle Travis…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 19, 2014 3051

Three Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision on South…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gwen Smith
November 19, 2014 2850

Two Killed When Vehicle Becomes Airborne, Strikes…

in Local (Owensboro) Top News by Daviess County Sheriff's Office
November 21, 2014 2406

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
November 21, 2014 2254

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Nov. 21, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

November 22, 2014 1591

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collion in Greenville

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Miria Thomas
November 21, 2014 1287

KSP Announces 'Cram the Cruiser' to Feed the…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Stu Recke
November 22, 2014 1174

SAR Planning 'Triple' Revolutionary War Patriot…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Geoff Baggett
November 22, 2014 1172

Greenville Representatives Taking Part in Austin,…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 21, 2014 1154

Kentucky Employers to Save About $112 million

in General News For All Sites by Cathy Lindsey
November 22, 2014 1094

Carve a Turkey Like a Pro

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1047

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1034

Pennyrile Dulcimer Players Demonstrate Unique…

in Top News For All Sites by Ron Sanders
November 22, 2014 932

P'Pool Among Top Performing Child Support…

in Hopkins News by Cabinet for Health and Family Services
November 21, 2014 888

Kentucky State Parks Winter Holiday Events

in General News For All Sites by Gil Lawson

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss