Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tipping Words for People About to Tip

I heard a story about a man that left our church many years ago.  I asked a simple question. Why did he leave?  I was told something was said to him that was very offensive. What was said?  I inquired.  When I was told what was actually said, it did not sound very offensive.  It was probably in poor taste, but it seemed like a comment that was by no means intentionally hurtful.  But the comment caused the man to leave our church.  That is not necessarily true…

As it turns out, the gentleman that left had a lot going on his life during that time period.  A number of unpleasant experiences at church had not helped anything.  The offensive comment was comprised of tipping words.  They were tipping words for a man that was about to tip. 

What is a good definition of tipping words?  Tipping words make up conversations that send people over the edge. They are the final straw for someone that is already struggling. They can be brief.  And there may not be any intent to offend, but they do.  It does not take much to push someone off a ledge when they are already leaning in that direction.

What are supposed to do? Walk on eggshells all of the time?  No!  But there are three things can we can do.  We can purposely be kind and encouraging in everything that we communicate whenever possible. (Even when the topic of discussion is unpleasant.)  We can be quick to listen and slow to speak. We can think about what the person is going through before speaking.

Tipping words can take another direction too. Sometimes when we are really discouraged all that it takes is a kind word from someone else to lift us up and tip us in a better direction.  Tipping word for people about to tip…

1 comment:

Leah P said...

Quick to listen and slow to talk. I need to work on that one!