The (Ex)Terminator

A man in Seattle, living in a rent house, saw a large spider in his home. Looking for an appropriate weapon to destroy the arachnid, he decided on a lighter and a can of spray paint. So, holding the lighter out in front of him while holding the spray paint button down, he launched a flamethrower campaign on the six-legged enemy. The ignited paint hit the wall and, by the time the fire trucks arrived, $40,000 in damage was done to the house with $20,000 of contents destroyed. News reports stated it was unclear if the spider survived the fire.

If this guy would have seen the spider, taken off his shoe, and slapped the thing to death, he would have never made national news. So it wasn’t the spider or the attempted killing of a spider that spread the story; it was the chosen method which led to the disastrous results.

Does that sound familiar to you?

“Well, all I said was …”

“I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.”

“I guess I should have thought that through first.”

Oftentimes, it’s not the thing we are trying to do or say that creates the actual problem; it’s the method that causes the wrong results. And can burn.

Attitudes affect words and actions, creating the wrong perception. And the wrong response.

Sarcastic, frustrated, or angered tones influence the comprehension of the speech.

Bad timing can turn an otherwise nice gesture into an insensitive act.

Thinking about what we want first, causes an interaction to go wrong in a bad way.

It’s hard to remember why we wanted to kill the spider in the first place when half the house is burned down. The method with which we wield our words and actions is equally as important as getting it said and done.

Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops. A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood. —Proverbs 26:20-21 NLT

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