Tag Archives: patience

8 ways to treat people who do not know as much as you

We all have them. People around us who don’t know as much as we do. And every time we discover that, we have choices.

1. Ridicule them. “You don’t know that? Everyone knows that.”
2. Ignore them. “Let’s move on.”
3. Gossip about them. “Can you believe the idiots I have to work with?”
4. Teach them. “Can I explain how do to that?”
5. Look at them. Is it possible that because they are 20 years younger and don’t have children they may not know how to change a diaper? Is it possible that because they are doing ___ for the first time, they haven’t benefited from learning what you have learned by messing this up 147 times?
6. Listen to them. “What do you think we could do?”
7. Honor them. “You made choices that kept you from having the experiences I have had.”
8. Mentor them. “To get to where you want to go, there are some ways to develop your strengths. Can I talk with you every so often?”

Your turn. What are the next 8?


Looking Back – walking and waiting

looking back

(this post first published August 4, 2007)

7:00 am “Dear God. Please help me find a job. Not just any job, but the perfect job. Amen.”

noon “Dear God. I don’t want to seem pushy, but I really would like a job. And you said to ask, so I’m asking. Amen.”

3:00 pm “Dear God. I haven’t heard anything yet. But that’s okay, I know you are busy. But where I am now is really annoying and I don’t think I can handle this much longer, so I’ll just wait here in line. Amen.”

9:00 pm “Dear God. I tried it your way. But I haven’t heard anything, so now I lay me down to try to sleep. But waiting is really hard, so if you care, I’d like an email with a job when I wake up. Yes, that’s it. Just make someone send me an email with a job. Great. That will work. Amen”

4:00 am “Dear God. You’ve got 3 hours. Amen.”

Because of a number of conversations with a number of people, I am increasingly aware that I may not be the only person in the world who has a push-button view of prayer.


Here’s what I mean. When we are walking in the city, we see the direction that we want to go or need to go or think we need to go. We stand at the corner, but the traffic is heavy. We push the button and wait for the light to change and the traffic in our path to stop. When it does, we know we can walk safely across. Because pedestrians are important, the wait is seldom more than a minute.

We apply this same thinking to our lives. We decide which direction to go, we know that what we need is a new job or a new relationship or a new situation or a healing. We stand at the corner and pray, which means that we say words which we believe with push the God button. And when the traffic doesn’t stop, we push it a few more times. We may try cutting through the traffic. We may give up and walk away.

But what if God isn’t a traffic signal? What if prayer, rather than being a button, is part of a conversation with a person? What if the silence which we see as a broken button is actually Someone waiting for us to stop deciding which way we are going and start just talking about the path and the corner and the traffic.

I don’t like it when people look at me merely as a traffic signal, giving approval to what they have already decided, do you? I mean, you want to offer counsel and direction and conversation and relationship when people talk to you, don’t you?

Maybe God does, too.


“Looking Back” is an opportunity to republish posts which have mattered to me. They may matter to you, too.