“Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables.”
There are people who are awesome “hand grenade throwers”. They seem to have a sixth sense on just the right time to throw the grenade to cause the largest commotion or damage and they are masterful at being just far enough from the situation that they can’t get hurt by the flying shrapnel. But, the collateral damage can be extensive. They are people who aren’t tasked with working on something, or have never gotten involved but love to criticize and question to the point that others who are working on the project get discouraged or frustrated until they just want to give up. As examples, these are some hand grenades that get thrown all the time, “That is going too slow”, “That is not how I have seen it done in the past.”, “I wonder if we have the right person leading this?”, “It doesn’t appear from where I sit that there is alignment within the team on this”, etc. Some would call it passive aggressiveness, but it’s not passive, it’s very active and it’s become more and more prevalent with digital communication channels. I’ve seen a fair amount of it lately as the distanced working seems to have emboldened those who were already prone to use grenades to get their way.
Let’s be real for a moment. The next few months are going to be filled with a bunch of decisions that are going to be easy to second guess and for us to throw grenades all over the place. I am reminding myself that I don’t want to be one of those people. Even when asked, “What do you think is going to happen?”, I am finding myself more cautious of how I respond because the chance that I will be wrong and potentially come across even a day later as tone-deaf is greatly heightened right now. I’ve been spending time in the Gospels and I’ve come to really appreciate Jesus’ parable teaching methodology as He was able to provide a teaching point that was tough love but always demonstrated how involved He and God wants to be with us. May we be the people who others hear from us His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and caring for them first-hand.
Reference: Matthew 13:34 (New Living Translation)