Nobody likes to be lectured.
The pointing fingers.
The condescending tones.
The questioning of motives.
The bombardment of facts and statistics.
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Even if I’m 100% wrong and I know it, being lectured makes me feel powerless and stupid. And in all honesty, it triggers my desire to rebel not to conform. To roll my eyes. To do the opposite, or to disengage and do nothing at all. A good ol’ fashioned lecture never made me want to change anything about myself. In fact, it usually makes me want to dig in my heels and grab back the position of power. To fight lecture with a good lecture of my own!
Is it just me, or do we seem to have become a society of lecturers? Nothing made that more clear to me than this little chicken controversy that’s been floating around for the past few weeks. Maybe you heard about it?
- We lectured Chick-Fil-A on their gay-marriage position with pickets, insults, and even government threats.
- We lectured those who lectured Chick-Fil-A with pithy facts about how they treat same-sex couples in other countries.
- We lectured those who lectured the original lecturers of Chick-Fil-A with jabs about how Christians will line up to eat chicken but never serve at a homeless shelter.
(And now I guess it could be argued that I’m lecturing them all).
Social media was alive with quotes, stats, and funny little insults that either caused you to erupt with smug laughter and a massive re-posting campaign, or boiled your blood in leftover waffle fry grease sending you to the cloud for a stellar comeback.
Here’s my concern. We might be able to force others to bend to our ways, our perspectives, or our lifestyle. But unless there is a change of heart, it’s all just a byproduct of persuasion or power. True transformation is never triggered by insult, condescension, mockery, or stellar debate techniques. What if there was another way?
It seems to me Jesus engaged in conversation not condemnation, all without muddling the definition of truth. He is the truth (John 14:6).
What if we asked more questions instead of making imperative demands? What if we learned stories instead of categorizing people into issues? What if we stopped lecturing and started listening?
The Bible gives us rules, commands, and standards by which to live, with the full knowledge we are completely incapable of keeping them. That’s why Jesus came. Not to lecture us into alignment with His Kingdom, but to do in us what we cannot do for ourselves. To change our hearts from the inside out, not just bend our perspectives on important issues like chicken-gate.
“God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” -John 3:17 MSG
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” -Ephesians 3:20-21 MSG
What do you think? Feel free to lecture me below.