the complement sandwich

I was hanging out with my laser tag team tonight (really my life group from church, I don’t play laser tag…any more) when we found a complement sandwich in 2 Corinthians 6&7.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this method of tearing someone down it goes like this…

“Hey Phil, you have really been doing some good work on that project.”

“But ya know what, you really need to think about how you dress at work, what you wear really says a lot about your self, and what your wearing says you don’t care if you get the account.”

“Listen you have a very promising future in this company, your work really is excellant.”

Using a complement to get to what you really want to talk about, but then your point is lost because the person really focuses on the complement and the fact that someone said something nice about them, is a poor way of communicating.  So are really long sentences.

So why do we do it?  I find my self doing it from time to time.  Using a meaningless complement to get to the heart of the matter, which actually dishonors the person you are talking too even more.  When we have to talk to someone about something negative why don’t we just tell them.

“Hey, we’re about to have a tough conversation…”

Instead of: “You’re awesome but I don’t really mean it, you suck, but wait your awesome again…and no, I don’t mean it.”

Tough conversations always have to happen in almost every walk of life.  Let’s commit to be honest and say what the issue is.

Sometimes people need to be rebuked.  The word rebuke used in the New Testament means, “To Honor or to heep honor on someone.”

It means you really care.

It means you will walk with them through the tough times.

It means you want good for them.

So if you are in a position where you need to talk to someone about something serious.  Think about it.  Think about the approach.  What will honor this person the most?

Sometimes you just need to say it.

***I’m not trying to say that Paul is wrong or that he actually used the complement sanwich…I actually really like those chapters in 2 Corinthians.  If you look at the context the way Paul did it was pretty effective, he gave them a transforming principle vs a meaningless complement at the end…so no comments about how I disagree with the Bible because I don’t…


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