I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago, just making small talk, when a particular well-known speaker came up. My friend was very excited about a recent message he had heard and as he bubbled over with excitement about all he had learned, right out of my mouth I said these words. “I don’t like;” and I said the fellow’s name. Of course my comment went a long way in squelching my friend’s excitement but he tried to explain this wasn’t the “typical message” by this speaker. But the damage had been done. We got off the subject and moved on to another but later that evening I thought a long time about our conversation.
Why did I feel like I needed to take the wind out of my friend’s sails? Why did I think I needed to let him know there must be something wrong with his taste because in my infinite knowledge and wisdom, I didn’t like this guy! In hindsight, here are a few things I should have considered.
I discouraged my friend. All of us have been around dream killers. Dream killers can find something negative in anything. My friend was very excited about the message he had heard and with my comment I just stuffed it in his face. I don’t like him! My friend didn’t ask for my opinion. He was telling me about a message he had heard that ministered to him and gave him some spiritual insight. Whether I liked that particular person or not, I should have been more sensitive to my friend. In fact, I should have been an encourager rather than a discourager.
…an encouraging word cheers a person up. Proverbs 12:25b TLB
I showed tremendous arrogance. With my statement I was telling him I’ve already arrived. I don’t need to hear this because I’m spiritual enough and there isn’t anything this person can possibly say that would benefit me. Honestly I acted like a fool.
A fool thinks he needs no advice, but a wise man listens to others. Proverbs 12:15 TLB
I almost missed an opportunity to learn. I later looked up this particular talk and listen to the entire message. I have to admit it was truly inspired and at the end I found myself in tears repenting for my horrible attitude. Perhaps the next time I see my friend I’ll humble myself and tell him about my experience.
Are you teachable? I have found that I learn more from people who are different from me than I do from people who are just like us.
And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as father. Being a descendant of Abraham is neither here nor there. Descendants of Abraham are a dime a dozen. What counts is your life. Matthew 3:9-10a MSG
To quote Forrest Gump, “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”