Handy Tool for discussion


How do you answer a difficult question off the cuff???

Here’s a “Handy Tool.”

[Example issue: “There’s no such thing as sin. God doesn’t care what we do. God loves us all.”

1. Thumb:

images-2Thumbs up… Agree with whatever you can agree with or affirm. It’s common ground. Besides, the other person will keep returning to this until they know you’ve really heard them. 
[eg. God certainly loves us all. And I agree I don’t think God is so dainty and delicate that our sin hurts him in that sense.


2. Index finger:

images-3Caution… A Cautionary note about their comment or assumptions.
[eg. Still, as I look at the TV news – something’s wrong with the world, it’s not all good. And it’s not just those bad people, it’s in a ll of us, the capacity for Good, and for bad. And if God does love us, then being hurt by others would matter to God.


3. Longest finger:

images-7Suggest… Offer a Surpassing suggestion, which may solve the cautionary problem.

[eg. Isn’t that what the Easter story is about – that God lovingly comes to do something definitive about the sin problem that threatens us all? To free us from our bad stuff.

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4. Ring finger:

ring_finger_rexProcessing… Only when they can process the new info themselves, can a real relationship develop, just as a wedding eventuates from a relationship that has had time to process. So ask them process the new suggestion. Have a conversation, not cornering them, let them speak thoughts aloud. People often shift when given space to do so.
[eg. What do you think?

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5. Little finger:

images-9Invite… Invite gently. Not coercive, not manipulative. “Hold the nail” for the Holy Spirit to “hammer home.” Don’t try to hammer it home yourself. If it’s God, he’ll nudge them. They need to know it’s God nudging them, and not you.
[eg. Do you consciously follow Jesus?


6. The wrist:

images-13Base… The base of the conversation. There’s normally a basic reason for asking the question, directing the whole conversation. Not all conversations are logical, so sometimes this is an inappropriate tool to use. So let the wrist remind you to investigate the basis of the conversation.
[eg. Why do you ask?

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I hope this Handy Tool comes in… well… handy.

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