Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

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.

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 16, 2014 19279

UPDATE- Sheriff's Office Following Leads…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 17, 2014 4246

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3141

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 16, 2014 3065

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 15, 2014 2779

Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Drug…

in Top Stories by Lori Blakeley

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 17, 2014 4246

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3141

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 2779

Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Drug…

in Top Stories by Lori Blakeley
April 15, 2014 1077

State Approves $500K for Hopkins Archery…

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett
April 18, 2014 976

Talking Teen Trashed Telephone Pole,…

in Top Stories by MPD

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 15, 2014 1720

Owensboro Police Investigate Auto Accident

in News by Michael Hathaway
April 15, 2014 1368

Owensboro Parks Offers Tennis Lessons

in News by Britni Bunn
April 15, 2014 1029

Happenings and Meetings Owensboro

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 16, 2014 839

New Home Health Care Opens in Owensboro

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 15, 2014 767

OPD’s Annual 5K Run and Police Awareness…

in News by Owensboro Police Department

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 16, 2014 3065

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 15, 2014 2040

'Walk Right Back' An Everly Brother's…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 1877

Local MCHS Students Train at Job Corps

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
April 15, 2014 1533

Thumbpickers Unite at Mose Rager Day

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 16, 2014 1164

South Carrollton Woman Injured in Head-on…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


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

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03