How do Wisdom and Selling go together?

Welcome to Wisdom Selling. So if you are like me, you are always wanting to learn more. Well here is the deal about selling. It is the desire to exchange something you have, for something of more value to you. You may have an idea, a product, a service which people will want to pay for, allowing you to make a profit. You have to seek out people who might want it, and convince them it is worth the price you are charging. Or like me, you may just have a little wisdom, and are looking for someone who values it enough to want to use it. My value received in return is the joy of your feedback. So, I am selling wisdom. The cost to you, your interest. I want to help others as well. Visit the links page and shop for some good deals. Any profits on money you spend there will be used by Wisdom Selling to support non-profit businesses in developing their strategies.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Perils of being an Explainer

So this one might be a little long, so go get your coffee and come back...  OK now.


The challenge of trying to explain something is that you would really like to get it right most often.  Now there are exceptions, such as when your kids ask you a question about how something works and you make up an answer, and they believe you, even though you have no idea what you are saying.  I have never personally done this, but I have heard of people who have.  Or the co-worker who asks you a question about something and you know part of the answer so you go down that road while inside you are making up the rest of the answer.  Or - you may be like the umpire - often wrong but never in doubt.  That is kind of how I live my life.  Very dangerous.  Ha!

To be an effective explainer of anything, you really need to know the basics of what you are talking about.  From that point, you can bring in your own stories and opinions about a topic. But, when explaining something as a credible authority, you are really laying your reputation, as well as the future belief in what you are discussing on the line when you venture beyond your knowledge into uncharted territory.

Now, Dale Carnegie will tell you that you can talk on any subject as long as you can relate it to something you already know.  I have found this to be true time and time again, where you are asked a question about a topic, and you kind of redefine the question by personalizing your answer around what you do know.  This is a safe back up plan in a lot of circumstances.

However, the reality is, you need to know what you are talking about in many circumstances in your life.  The most significant I can think of relates to discussions about God, Jesus and the bible.  You need to know certain things so you can decide when and when not to bring them up.  For example, at the beginning of Jesus ministry in Matthew 4, he is taken into the desert where he fasts, then is tempted by the devil.  Now the devil is not going to be convinced or influenced by any arguments.  In fact, he is trying to use some compelling arguments to sway Jesus.  The bible is quick to point out that in this case, Jesus stuck exactly to the script - quoting scripture straight out of the bible that would have been available at the time, which we call the old testament.  Hey, i just noticed this - script - scripture.  Hmm.  Wonder if we have lost the significance of that because we let that become an archaic word, instead of recognizing this is a script for us.  In this case, it was for Jesus.

Another time, Jesus was being challenged by the experts in the law.  In Matthew 21, his authority is questioned.  I love his answer - he challenged them on their beliefs, and when they would not answer, neither would he.  He knew that they only wanted to try and embarrass him by out knowledging him, and he knew there was no gain by out debating them, so he took a pass.  Sometimes this is the wise choice for us as explainers.  Even though we know, we don't always win.  Pick your battles wisely.

Now, I believe that Jesus was prepared to answer any question at any time.  He spent three years with his disciples, training them by word and example, then he empowered them with the Holy Spirit, so that they would have the words to say.  Don't you wish he had done the same for us.  Hey wait a minute - we have his words and example documented for us.  We have his old testament scriptures that were the basis for many of his directions, and we have the Holy Spirit.  Wow, I guess if we have been Christians for longer than three years and we are not out there giving it a go, we are falling behind his disciples who went into the world and made us disciples.  Stop it, Chris, that hurts.  Well it hurts me, too.

Sometimes I think we won't do this because it seems so daunting to be able to learn enough to be an effective explainer.  Jesus recognized this in his disciples.  He paced his messaging to them for this reason.  He modeled over and over, and repeated the key themes.  He showed his disappointment that they did not get it faster at times, but he did not quit on them.  However, he had a point in time in sight where he know they needed to get out and do it.  He even sent them out to practice many times in his ministry.

So what does this mean to us?  You have a chance to learn before you are sent out, but if you stay in kindergarten, you are never going to reach your potential for Christ.  So, let me give you five questions to get you started on your journey to Explainer.  Finding the answers to these, as well as learning to rely on the Holy Spirit to speak through you can be very beneficial to you.

1. Why do you believe the Bible is true?  a corollary is How can you say the bible is inerrant?
2. Why do you believe that Jesus is the son of God?
3. Why is there sin in the world?  A corollary is Why do good things happen to bad people or vice versa?
4. Why do you believe there is only one way to heaven?
5. What is grace? in the biblical connotation

There are lots of bible verses, chapters, and books on these questions alone.  I will start recommending some reading you might want to investigate as well.

Here is an example of how preparing though scripture can prepare you to answer a hard question:

Why does the bible say Christians should hate homosexuals?

1. The bible does not say that.  Jesus says the second most important commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself.  If there is hate against a homosexual from a Christian, it violates this (unless of course you hate yourself, which leads to a whole other list of verses)!

2. The bible says that homosexuality is a sin.  In the old testament, punishable by death.  In the new testament, still considered a sin.  The purpose of sin in our covenant of grace through Jesus is not to condemn but to convict.  Sin shows us that we need grace - For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God!  Our sin may be different, but our need for grace is no less.  A true change from sin comes as a result of seeing clearly how it negatively affects our relationship with God, and repenting from it, not how we think others feel about it, or what we feel our rights are.

3. To be a Christian and still live a life of sin is not consistent with Scripture which says I no longer live but Christ lives in me.  Our temple of our bodies and our minds should reflect what we believe about repentance and turning to a new life.  Hey, all of us have desires that we have to control in order to be obedient.  This requires self sacrifice and self discipline.  The Holy Spirit is there for us to advise each of us, but it is an opportunity of the will to obey.

There may be more, but I am sure you are tired of reading.  I would love your feedback on this post.

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