You can catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. is an idiom I have heard all of my life. It's meaning is quite clear. It means that you are more likely to persuade people if your arguments are polite rather than confrontational.
Christians who choose to use polite arguments are sometimes seen as being timid, wishy-washy or ashamed of the Gospel by those who choose to take the more aggressive route. However, I wonder...
We do know that the moment people detect an aggressive tone, be it verbal or written, they immediately become alert and get ready to either fight or take flight. Whether justified or not, that is their initial reaction for it is instinctive and is a protective mechanism. We can't help it.
We do know that if people feel they are being attacked, even verbally, most people will shut out what is being said to them. We really do tune people out. While a few people may be compelled to continue to listen, the vast majority will not. They will either walk away or "fight back".
Verbally attacking people is the worst way to attempt to communicate with them and yet this is often how people attempt to communicate the Gospel. What is wrong with us? This is how we share the love of God and the Good News? We yell at people, tell them they don't know anything, strut about with pride oozing from our every pore (only we call it something else) and expect them to listen to us? Why? Who would want to listen to someone like that?
Actions speak louder than words. That is another excellent idiom. When we verbally attack non-Christians or even Christians for that matter, we are showing them who we are; and it is not a pretty sight. It does not matter how many verses of the Bible we quote, people will remember how you delivered them. Did you deliver them with love or with a club?
When we call ourselves "Christians" we are presenting ourselves as a representative of Jesus. What sort of a representative are we?
Is it possible to be a light in this world and present the Gospel in a loving and gentle manner? I believe it is. In fact, I believe that is how it must be! Any other way is no way at all.
Perhaps if people do not heed our words, the problem is not them and it certainly is not the Word of God. Perhaps the problem is... us.
Great Message K, GREAT
I think the tougher the message required to be spoken, the more broken our God desires us to be in speaking it. Jeremiah was given a very heavy message but was called "the weeping prophet"
I absolutely believe it's critically important not only the content but from where it's coming from. Do we want to be seen through our own pride as RIGHT or are we sharing what we are sharing out of love for the person/audience we are speaking to??
I've heard it wisely said, if you aren't interceding in prayer for the people you are going to be speaking/sharing...you have no business speaking and sharing
thanks for sharing this message K
Great blog. It occurred to me that although honey is much better for catching flies, it also really draws bees, too especially at a picnic.
Vinegar may not be a good fly catcher but it does have its uses. It is an excellent preservative for one thing. It turns a common cucumber into a yummy pickle and tastes so much better on a burger than honey. Yes, gulping down a glass full of vinegar doesn't sound appealing but neither does gulping down a glass full of honey. Vinegar is very bitter and acidic but properly used is very versatile for cooking, cleaning, gardening and even medicinal home remedies.
Honey is super sweet and is equally as versatile but excessive use of honey is not good for some, especially diabetics.
I guess too much of anything can be problematic. lol.
The moral of the story is it is probably good to keep a bit of honey and vinegar in our kitchens. Good cooks will educate themselves on the best uses for each of them.
I submitted this comment with no intention to be acidic but instead wanted to add a bit of sweet levity. It probably qualifies as going off topic, big time but I hope you'll be a real honey and forgive me. I tried to write it in a way that doesn't go down too sour but brings a little smile to your face.
Sweetly but with a tiny bit of tang,