This is a repost but it’s something we all need to remember…. don’t get the wrong end of the stick!”
Getting the wrong end of the stick is a phrase to explain when someone misunderstands, misinterprets, or misconstrues a situation. It occurs when we misunderstand what someone has said or a situation.
It’s fairly easy to “get the wrong end of the stick” if you are not careful, are prone to jump to conclusions, have a low self-esteem or are easily offended. Case in point would be today when my eldest daughter texted me a link to a website. We have six beautiful children and our youngest is now eight so I know what it is to have some extra after baby kilo’s to lose, and the work it takes to do so.
Today my daughter innocently sent me the link to a website called “losebabyweight.com” and then attached a healthy recipe for one of my favourite desserts – sticky date pudding. I had quickly looked at the first part of the message and wondered briefly why she was sending me a losing baby weight website, and if it was her subtle way of telling me I still had baby weight to lose. I could easily have “gotten the wrong end of the stick”, especially if I had been feeling bad about myselfmor had been lacking in confidence about my appearance. As a result I could have misconstrued the situation and even gotten offended.
However I did none of those things because I stopped and reread the message again, took the time to check out the yummy recipe, and realised she was helping me by finding a healthy sugar free alternative that I could make. We had a chuckle and I commented back, “no baby fat, just stretch marks”,and that was that.
But you can see how “getting the wrong end of the stick” can easily cause a lot of misunderstandings and often be the culprit for people getting upset. We all at times need to stop and make sure we aren’t “getting the wrong end of the stick” by choosing instead to hear the other’s person’s heart regarding what they are doing or saying and not jump to conclusions because of our own undealt with issues, self esteem, or mindsets about particular situations and people. Many a friendship has been broken, relationships have suffered, families have been torn apart, workplaces have become toxic and even churches have become places of offence and bitterness, rather than centres of love and understanding through people “getting the wrong end of the stick.”
All of us can benefit from continually being students of good communication, people skills and determining to walk in grace and understanding on a daily basis.
So how about we throw the stick away and extend our hand and heart’s instead, as we seek to stop, listen and understand.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.”(Proverbs 10:1)
“Don’t say anything that would hurt (another person). Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you.”(Ephesians 4:29 God’s Word Translation)
Prayer: Lord please help me to not jump to conclusions or misunderstand what someone has said when I am relating to others. Help me to let go of all of those things and to trust you to take care of my heart as I seek to listen, love and understand. In Jesus Name Amen.