How important is it to be clear in giving or receiving instructions? We were playing with words with my daughter and I figured out that listening to some parental instructions and sometimes even instructions on exams may sound like this:
Rule # 1. Follow all of the following rules.
Rule # 2. Make sure you keep Rule # 1 in mind all the time.
Rule # 3. Rehearse Rule #2.
Rule # 4. Observe Rule #3 everyday.
Rule # 5. Review all the rules periodically.
Rule # 6: Be ready to answer the question.
Question: "What did I tell you last time?"
Did the above instruction sound confusing and senseless? Every now and then we all face some ambiguous instructions. Especially children may find some of our instructions confusing depending on their age and the clarity of our instructions. When we make rules and instructions we need to put ourselves in our listener's shoe and check if it is clear. Saying "I will say it once and I am not going to repeat it" is not the solution. Check if your instruction is clear by asking, "Do you understand what you need to do? Tell me what you understood."
It is difficult to work or live with people who expect to be understood without being clear about what they want. Children need consistency and clarity whether at home or school. Most of the yelling and shouting can be avoided if parents and teachers give clear instructions. It is also important to note that in general, human tendency is to do what we like to do, not what we are instructed to do. Think about your own spiritual life. Most of us wouldn't be alive if God didn't give us a second chance. Though the Bible gives us clear instructions as to what we should and shouldn't do, we often repeat the same mistake again and again. Yet, his mercy endures.
"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV
Has God been merciful to you? If yes, in what ways? How thankful are you for his mercy?
Write your prayer for understanding and wisdom to understand God's will better and to be clearer in your instruction and request to others.