Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Say What Needs To Be Said

Many times when we are having a difficult discussion with someone we are being sensitive to not only what to say, but what not to say. We get the feeling that if we "bottom line it" or say something that is generally against common assumptions, we're going to exacerbate an already uncomfortable interaction.

Speak the truth in love.

It could be something politically incorrect or it may go against a misunderstanding in science or challenge a preconceived idea. It could be about a bad behavior or maybe the boss making a bad decision that hurts you or someone else. We've all had these uncomfortable conversations where we need to speak up and say something that may anger someone.

We want to be respectful and think about how we will deal with the situation. We want to follow the scriptures that tell us to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove but this may mean something else, as well. We may find that the best way to address the subject is to simply say the things that need to be said.

Again, this can be difficult when there is the potential to create friction in the conversation. It's especially difficult if there are anticipated repercussions. Will I be fired? Will I lose a friend or family member? Will it cost me something that I really don't want to lose?

Count the Cost

There is a process of preparing ourselves for these kind of interactions. The world is a dangerous place and watching even a short segment of todays news will quickly inform us that Christian ideas are hated and aggressively confronted. As Americans, the real life of a Christian is just now beginning to be realized.

Therefore, we must begin preparing ourselves for the tough conversations and become an expert communicator. The first step is to count the cost of our words. We need to take our communication of the Gospel and speaking the truth very seriously.

This is why In The Cool Zone exists... to build fortitude in believers of Christ. We are not ready for the the things that are coming but we can be. We need to be!

"But don't begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? - Luke 14:28 NLT

So, it is possible that mentioning the thing that must be said can potentially make things worse for the moment. A "good" friend or person will generally take criticism or disagreement well. In fact, you may find that it earns you respect. It may just be the thing to clarify the conversation and yield a wonderful result.

However, it does remain that it doesn't always go that way. So, what are some examples of potentially difficult discussion and possible consequences of saying what needs to be said?

Topics and Circumstances That Can Cause Friction:

  • Delivering the Gospel.
  • Topics of authentic science vs. misunderstandings of science.
  • Misunderstandings of evidence and interpretation of facts.
  • Direct evidence vs. circumstantial evidence.
  • Misunderstandings in general.
  • When someone is being irresponsible and needs correction.
  • Someone in denial of a bad and hurtful behavior.
  • What situations have you had where doing the right thing cost you something? 

Potential Consequences That Can Happen:

  • Reprimanded or fired from our job.
  • Laughed at, impugned or scorned.
  • Embarrassment.
  • Lose a friend.
  • Lose a family member.
  • Seen as obstinate or not a team player.
  • Accused of not being open minded.
  • Barred from a group or event.
  • What else could it cost you?

We can be ready to deal with these types of situations and in the process, say the things that need to be said. We can do it wisely, lovingly and strategically. We want to prepare ourselves by counting the cost of seeking and standing for the truth.

We want to develop our skill in saying what needs to be said and then learn to navigate the conversation forward in light of a new context. Especially, when the other person is not willing to take responsibility.

Begin Faith Boost Sequence

There are many situations where you will be moved to say what needs to be said. The following scriptures give us strategies on how to do it well.
"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. - Matthew 10:16 NKJV
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. - Ephesians 4:14-15 NLT
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. - Romans 1:16 NASB
Just say a simple, 'Yes, I will,' or 'No, I won't.' Anything beyond this is from the evil one. - Matthew 5:37 NLT
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Take Action!

How do I say what needs to be said?

Every situation is going to be a bit different. This first step is the awareness that sometimes the tough conversations are going to come your way. Begin now preparing your fortitude and grow into becoming an expert at saying what needs to be said. 
Take it slow and start with small challenges and work your way up. Take a read of the following articles to continue building fortitude. With a concerted effort to grow in Christ you will begin to do great things in the Kingdom of God!  
Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.

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Concept: Say what needs to be said.

In The Cool Zone concept. Think like Jesus thinks. Deliver the Gospel.

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