Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Don't Preach to Me

I do hope you read till the end, no matter how many times my words strike your nerves.
Work was good today and we started off by saying prayers as we always do- but something happened that made me stop and question myself 'is that so?'
One of us started to share the Scriptures with us- and it hit me that talking is more like giving a speech.
Three things important:
  1. Know your audience
  2. Know what you want to say
  3. Keep it very SHORT!
He went on to say that we need to jump up and give unending praise and that bad things happened yesterday one of them is a tree falling down on the power lines and thus ridding the center of electricity- he insisted that he didn't know why God let that happen, and why specifically the center, but he wanted us to pray for an intervention.
I will confess that the only intervention I had in mind was calling up Kenya Power and telling them to come fix their lines before the transformer zaps again!
But, looking around the room at that time I realized that people were mad. People were pissed off at this statement and it had me afraid.
I know I'm the biggest unfried chicken there is- but this was different. It's like the whole room just shut down and he lost the plot. It was truly speaking to trees!
So- immediately after I asked one of my friends what she thought of the word we shared today.
She just told me 'I was rained on yesterday. I got home and there were no lights, I had to get up by 5am and prepare to get here. I wasn't paying attention.'
I asked another and she said 'I just feel off, like he thinks it's only this place that was unfortunate- that storm was bad- it messed up lots of places.'

Back to point 1 (Know your audience).
I reckon in his sharing he got carried away and forgot that he was dealing with humans- and when it comes to getting a message across- you need to ask yourself how the other person will take it. You obviously know why you want to share it, how you want to go about it- but how the other person takes it is a whole new territory and it might blow up in your face.
This just reminded me of faith. It's hard to share your faith with someone by throwing words at them before you know them.
It is also hard to expect someone to welcome your faith and listen to it when you want them to.
You know, it surprises me how easy it is to be selfish in the name of 'self-realization' when all you could do is sit back and start by saying, 'hello, nice to meet you.'

So, if you've made it this far reading this- Thank you :-)
Do not take this as an attack on your faith and your expression of it- rather as a pointer in 'Public Speaking: 101' the rule still stands 'Know your audience.' Best way of achieving that is 'Listening to them first, knowing their needs and fears and you being human enough to care.'

How can one change the world if one identifies oneself with everybody?