Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Man's Reaction Misinterpreted as Criticism

I showed up at the house of a friend and rang the doorbell. I was supposed to bring some chairs. He opened the door and said, "Ron, where are the chairs?"

I responded, "Oh, I forgot."

He glared at me and barked, "That figures!"

I thought, That figures? He thinks I'm no good. He thinks I can't follow through. He thinks I'm useless. Then I thought, Who does he think he is? The creep. I bet he's got a problem or 12!

But then I decided I had two options: believe the best about what he was saying—although that was pretty tough—and just forget about it, or ask him what he meant—even though it seemed obvious to me.

A couple of weeks later I saw him and brought it up: "You know the other day when I was at your house and forgot to bring the chairs and you said, 'That figures'? …"

He interrupted me and said, "I shouldn't have said that."

"I was wondering what you meant."

"Well, all day long that day in every meeting someone had forgotten something. It just figured."

So, he wasn't saying, "Jenson, you're a jerk." He was saying, "My day's been terrible."

Related Sermon Illustrations

Advice for Handling Criticism

In his book Confessions of a Pastor, Craig Groeschel offers some advice on how to handle critics:

It's a fact that "hurt people hurt people." They usually dislike themselves ...
[Read More]

Showing Dignity at Airline Ticket Counter

In an article for Leadership journal, Gordon MacDonald shares the story of a friend who was caught in the middle of a nasty church conflict that had spun out of control. When MacDonald ...

[Read More]