True, but Not Helpful!

My wife and I were finally going on a vacation for just the two of us. We were going to leave our two wonderful children behind with grandparents and go to the Bahamas. Well, it was sort of a vacation. She had a conference to go to there, and I took off from work to go a day early with her. We would also stay a day late, and we call that a vacation.

The second leg of our trip was a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Because of problems with the plane, we were delayed on the ground in Charlotte. Since my wife and I had complained to each other about a long lay-over in Fort Lauderdale, we initially took this delay as a blessing.

Well, you guessed it. It got to be so long a delay, that I realized we would never catch our next flight, even though we had just been told we are going to taxi out of the gate in about five minutes. I asked a stewardess if we could get some help, to re-arrange the next leg of our flight. Her answer inspired this little article, "Well, you should have gotten off the plane when you had the chance."

Holding down the urge to choke her, I told her that what she said was true, however it was not very helpful at this time. She just looked at me as if it was my fault, and walked away.

So, I pulled the phone out of the seat in front of me, pulled out my credit card, and booked my wife and myself on a flight we would be able to make. (Despite this effort, her luggage didn't make it with us until the next morning. She almost had an excuse to replace a good portion of her wardrobe! Almost!)

I do not blame the stewardess, but I see how easy it is to tell someone something that is true, without telling them something that is helpful. I believe that those who know me are well aware of my abilities to do the very same thing. I can easily tell you things that are true, but they are not very helpful for you. I have done it many more times than I care to remember. I also do not want to forget how easy it has been to do that.

I do not feel that God wants me to tell you what is true, unless it is also something that is helpful to you. God wants both, and that's the truth!

Ephesians 4:29

(NIV) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

(NASB) Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

(NLT) Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.