I tried to help someone today.
It backfired on me.
I was shopping with Amanda in Walmart. It was a normal day. She and I were just doing our part to stimulate the economy. Amanda wanted to make chili for supper. Being a strong Christian, I thought that sounded like a good idea. But we needed to pick up some chili powder so Amanda could fix supper.
As we were looking at the shelves filled with various spices, it took us awhile to locate our chili powder. A fellow shopper was standing beside us. He was also having some trouble finding what he was looking for.
Finally, Amanda found our chili powder. She then turned and asked the guy what he was looking for. He needed some celery seeds. I have no idea why. Perhaps he was beginning a celery garden.
Regardless, Amanda found them rather quickly for him. As she gave them to me, my mind came to the realization that all of the spices were in alphabetical order. So I observed out loud, "They're all in alphabetical order."
The only problem was... it came out sounding like I was calling that guy next to us an idiot because he couldn't find what he was looking for.
I was only trying to help. I had just then realized the alphabetical order myself.
And yet... my words came out wrong.
Ugh. I felt so bad.
At least the guy laughed about it... "That's some useful information," he said. But I think he laughed trying to play off the fact that he hadn't found what he was looking for.
Why do I say things in a way that can be misunderstood?
I guess it's just being human. But as a preacher, you'd think I'd be better at speaking to others.
The Apostle Paul says, "5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." (Colossians 4:5-6)
My desire is to make the best use of my time. My desire is to be able to give the best conversation possible so that people will be drawn to God.
More salt. Less jerk please.