THE TRAP OF SWEET WORDS

Monday: August 3rd, 2020

Reference text: Jeremiah 28:1-17

Jeremiah 28:1b,3 Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the LORD, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the LORD’s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon:

Hope is a good thing and for many, it is the main driver in their day to day activities for without hope, there is nothing to look forward to. But here is the caveat because sometimes false hope is presented and what is ‘looked forward to’ never materializes.

Spending just two weeks in a spinal ward taught me that when you have to care for a patient who only 6 hours earlier, was running a marathon, but is told that they are unlikely to fully use their legs again, every word you say matters because they can cling to them for dear life. Consequently, you are likely to fall into the trap of sweet words

Think about the patient described above for a minute. If even after their poor prognosis, with eyes lit up they ask you ‘when will I walk again?’, what will your response? Would you say ‘in six months I believe’, ‘unfortunately never’ or I can’t tell. Would you rather be an optimist, a pessimist or stay neutral? Either way, in many situations similar to this, there is a real tendency to tell people what they want to hear even when we know that isn’t what they ought to hear.

At a time when the people required a source of hope, it was easy for the prophet Hananiah to jump at the opportunity to become a beacon of hope. He delivered a message of hope, only that it was false hope hinged on satisfying the ears of the people and for that, he lost his life.

So beloved, don’t let the desire to please make you a proponent of false hope. Don’t fall into the trap of sweet words.

Remember, you are special and you are loved!

#sly

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