This morning hubby started taping the baseboards in the living room. I had purchased new paint a couple of week ago thinking this could be a good project to undertake during the shelter in place order. I had talked about painting today but wasn’t feeling completely committed to that plan. He asked me to help with the longer walls. He followed that with, “I’m not saying you have to paint today. I just though I would do this while I wait for it to warm up outside.” In my world that is a mixed message.
Email, social media, and text are common places of mixed messages. I spend an exorbitant amount of time in email these days. It’s hard to read them without trying to interpret tone of voice, facial expressions and underlying meanings. Misunderstandings are easy to come by and can leave hurt feelings, anxiety, and broken relationships.
Sometimes I intentionally send mixed messages in hopes someone will do what I want. Other times the misunderstanding is completely unintended. This scripture reminds me that I need to be very careful with my words especially when I am representing Christ, and as a Christian that is always.
3-5 God tested us thoroughly to make sure we were qualified to be trusted with this Message. Be assured that when we speak to you we’re not after crowd approval—only God approval. Since we’ve been put through that battery of tests, you’re guaranteed that both we and the Message are free of error, mixed motives, or hidden agendas. We never used words to butter you up. No one knows that better than you. And God knows we never used words as a smoke screen to take advantage of you. 6-8 Even though we had some standing as Christ’s apostles, we never threw our weight around or tried to come across as important, with you or anyone else. We weren’t aloof with you. We took you just as you were. We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. And we did. (1 Thessalonians 2:3-8 MSG).
I need to remember my words matter. I need to pause and think about the reader. I don’t ever want to appear patronizing or condescending. I don’t ever want to diminish the unconditional love and grace we have through Christ. It’s a tall order. One, I can continue to do better at achieving.
What about you? How are your words received? Do you give mixed messages? Are you words misinterpreted? What are you doing to show the love of Christ? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.