By Jeff Arnette
I read a story about a young girl who loved playing skeet-ball at the local arcade. The story talks about how the little girl loved the arcade and an exciting trip to the arcade. Once they arrived, the little girl asked her dad for some money. Not having anything smaller, dad hands her a twenty-dollar bill with instructions to get change in the amount of two fives and a ten. It wasn’t long before dad went searching for her, and as you can imagine, found her playing the skeet-ball game and having the time of her life.
Dad, wondering where his change was at, says, “Where’s my change? Tell me you didn’t put that twenty-dollar bill in the machine.” “No, daddy,” said the little girl, “I put in two fives and a ten just like you said.” Then, as dad started to get upset, mom reminded him that he didn’t tell her to bring the money back.
The problem in this story is amusing and reminds us of an important lesson. Far too often, we are not clear in our expectations or instructions to others. Yet, somehow, we expect them to just know what we intended to say, even though we didn’t say it.
Church, this is a lesson we need to learn. We all need to be more transparent with the people in our lives. It might be your loved ones that need us to be more straightforward. Tell them how you feel, what you want, need, and expect. It might be your work colleagues who need you to be more transparent, and it might be your brothers and sisters at church. But unfortunately, clarity is a rare commodity in today’s world.
It also reminds us that our God is always clear in His Words. He doesn’t try to confuse or mislead us. There are plenty of people who would like to confuse the issues, but God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33).
Just like our Lord is clear with us, He expects us to be clear with the people in our lives. They are not mind readers who simply know what we’re feeling, need, or want. We must tell them lovingly and graciously. So, let’s commit to keeping it clear and verbalizing our feelings and desires with those the Lord has placed in our lives.