Are You Offering or Telling?

Maybe we ought to spend a little less time and effort telling people they’re thirsty.

That’s another challenge I brought away from our time with Bob Goff last week. I’ll confess: I had to ponder this one a bit.

Before reading further, what do you think he meant?

I occasionally ride bikes with friends, and honestly it’s sort of annoying when someone constantly nags at me to drink more. Yeah, I know they care about my welfare. They may even be right. But I’m a reasonably experienced rider, and just because I can’t walk doesn’t mean I’m incapable of monitoring my fluids. When you tell me you know what I need to do and when and how I need to do it, you actually decrease the likelihood I’ll pay attention.

We get pretty good at treating others like they just arrived from The Land of Broken Toys, especially when they’re different from us. We see what’s wrong, and we’re convinced it’s our job to point out the flaws and prescribe a solution. We may have the greatest of intentions, but nobody wants to be treated like a broken toy.

As I consider Bob’s metaphor, I see two options.

One is offering a cup of cold water—no strings attached—without being offended if my offer’s declined.

The other is telling someone they need to drink my particular brand of energy drink RIGHT NOW and doing all I can to coerce compliance because I know what they need.

One option opens the door to a relationship. It increases the odds that you’ll seek me out when you really ARE thirsty.

Jesus didn’t ask us to save people. That’s His job.

He asked us to love them.

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Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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