Call a spade a spade...Clarity in Speech  

Posted by Mike Sharrow

When we've talked about "Clarity" so far, it seems we have, as a culture, come to think the term is referencing viewpoints, opinions or proposed rules. Certainly those are cases where some might talk about "clarity," but the more basic level of need is just in the words we use. What do we mean by what we say? Are we clear in our own mind what we're trying to communicate? Clarity starts with vocabulary, with talk, letters, promotional efforts and relationship.

When you say, I'd like to be your friend...does that mean be bowling buddies, quilting queens, hang out partners for local restaurants, or do you mean to offer an "iron sharpening iron; keeping you warm when life is cold; picking you up when you fall" type of relationship?

When we say, "we need to do more discipleship" are we really thinking about making more authentic followers of Jesus without any strings, or do we really mean we need to get folks off the bench and into the game of serving locally?

Jesus seemed to have a knack for pointing out where people lacked clarity. He would get asked one question, but reply by saying something like, "No, what you mean to ask is blah-blah-blah, so how about you tell me what you believe about that first and then I'll answer." People hated it, because He masterfully saw through the fluff of words and into the heart of what they were really looking at. Sometimes the clarifying retort of Jesus made people walk away because He revealed something they didn't want to deal with....other times it was the catalyst question that changed lives.

We need to first be diligent to think about what we say. Do we know what we're asking? Do we know where we're sending?

Then, we need to, as leaders, promote "clarity" with those around us. This transcends just those we lead, mentor and be-friend, but also into our discipleship walks.

When Marco was giving me a barrage of apologetic questions I reached a point where I asked, "Are you really looking for answers so you can have faith, or putting up excuses to avoid a faith decision?" When someone is complaining about marital distress, sometimes the Spirit reveals that you need to ask the clarifying question of "do you think your struggle loving your wife in this way or time is really because of a lack of loving relationship with your Heavenly Father?"

What do you think? How problematic do you see clarity to be within the church, your social circle or your home? How have you seen a lack of clarity cause problems lately?

This entry was posted at Saturday, March 15, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

1 thoughts and responses

Clarity - Yesterday, I was early meeting family at a local ice cream house. I was minding my own business when a fellow that spoke no English came up to my table and asked if I spoke Spanish. I said. 'a little'. That was the only 'clear' part to the conversation.

He kept saying iglesia which I knew meant church and I figured he wanted money because typically that's what strangers want. But, I knew money was 'dinero' and he didn't ask for it and never extended his hand like he wanted it. So, it was all a bit odd. Certainly, no clarity.

Then, I grabbed a couple that was walking into the establishment and asked if he would translate for me. He shrugged and conversed with the guy. He said he hadn't eaten for a few days and needed money to get back to Dallas. I got clarity. Ha!

I think the point can be made we all need a translator in our communication with others. When, the Spirit does the translating depth of meaning takes a quantum leap.

When, we are limited to modern day English we can be so trapped. There can be much dialog and no communication. I've wondered sometimes what's the point of communicating truth to a nonbeliever or a believer with closed ears if the Spirit doesn't show up.

March 18, 2008 at 12:12 PM

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