Daily D – Proverbs 29:19
Words alone will not discipline a servant; the words may be understood, but they are not heeded. PROVERBS 29:19 (NLT)
I have a home repair project to complete today. Ollie the Border Collie and I left for our walk a few days ago and Millie remained home alone. She really, really wanted to go with us. However, it is hard for me with my aching back to handle two dogs on leashes, especially if a squirrel intersects our path.
We heard Millie yelling at us as we passed by the mailbox. Then we heard her get tangled in the window blinds. By the time we got back inside, Millie had broken one of the slats. I am not the handiest of handymen. My father is an expert. Our son is professional level. Our son-in-law is a master. However, Dad lives two hours away, our son is in California, and our son-in-law is working on other projects. I’ve got this.
What I’ve got is YouTube. I have an idea about what to do and I am pretty sure it will work. However, before I begin, I want to see if there is an instructional video on YouTube. I do not want to simply read what to do in a book. I want pictures, moving pictures, not those IKEA instructions in another language with artwork that makes no sense to my non-mechanical mind.
Words alone will not help me. You can tell me what to do all day long on a project like this and I may well nod my assent. Inside my head, however, I am wrestling with my pride about whether or not to ask, “Huh?”
This proverb scratches my itch. Do not merely tell someone what to do if they have never done it before. Show them how to do it. Do it with them. Watch them do it to make sure they are doing it right. Then let them do it themselves.
Jesus followed this pattern. He said, “Come and see.” He then invited his apprentices to work with him. Then he sent them to do what they had seen and done and to report back. After the resurrection he said, “You’ve got this.” (That’s a simple paraphrase of the Great Commission.)
Show and Tell is a powerful instructional method. Show people what to do. Tell them why and how. Do it together. Observe and correct through practice. Release students to do what they are competent to accomplish.
I like words. Working with words is something I do much better than working with tools and anything from IKEA. My wife is confident I can learn how to do home repairs all by myself. Thanks to YouTube and a circle of experts, sometimes I can. I also know how to do internet searches for Hal the Handyman.
I will teach like Jesus.
Our Father, please forgive me for the times I have told people what to do without giving them a picture of how to do it. Empower me from now on to always provide the living picture with the instructions. Empower me to teach more like Jesus. Amen.
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