“To be unclear is to be unkind.” It’s kind of a mantra I’ve heard time and again on the Dave Ramsey show.
His voice echoes in my ear, as I replay the day in my mind. It was an unusual day, with minor changes to my routine. And though there were a few hiccups in the schedule, the important things were done. I was on time to pick up my kid from school. I made it to church almost on time, and I got to bed before the clock changed from PM to AM.
But other than those very specific expectations, I failed on so many levels yesterday. For instance, one goal for last night (and every night, lest you think I’m a poor parent) was to feed my kids dinner. They got a last minute pizza delivery due to one of the aforementioned hiccups. A clearer more specific goal would have been to feed them a nutritious dinner that I made at home. I received some much needed input on a case that I have been working on for six weeks. However, I realized that I left a very important question off of a questionnaire, meaning I will need to have at least one more contact with a person who was reluctant to talk to me in the first place.
And worst of all, last night, I left Bible study more confused than when I walked in. It was tough. I spent much of the day listening to sermons and reading up on the Bible study topic. I really did have legitimate questions. I didn’t understand the teacher, and I didn’t agree with what I thought he was saying. But to make matters worse, I was unclear in my statements and questions…and I think the entirety of the class suffered as a result.
The more I replayed our discussion in my brain, I realized all I did was pour more dirt in already murky waters. This bothers me a great deal, as I try very hard to say what I mean, and mean what I say. At the end of the study, we said a prayer, and I had to ask for forgiveness for being both unclear and unkind.
We often recognize unkindness in others. We see it, and hopefully we call it out. Do we do the same when someone is being unclear? Do we recognize it in ourselves? Today, I am praying for clarity in speech and kindness in deed. The world has enough muddy waters already.