Jarrod Jacobs: "Don't Call Me Back"
Every once in awhile, I get a phone message where the person on the other end leaves a message and then says, “Don’t call me back” or words similar to this. When someone leaves a message like this, I always wonder why someone spent the time and energy to call and leave a message if he doesn’t intend to hear what I have to say in response to the question or complaint. The truth is, this person doesn’t want a reply. He wants only to “vent” his thoughts without response. It is this same mentality that motivates someone to write “anonymous” letters and emails to people when he isn’t happy. These types of messages generally get an identical response from me. I am making an exception to my usual response in this article.
Recently, a person called me and left the familiar ultimatum. He didn’t like what I had written, and so he called, left a message, and said, “Don’t call back.” He didn’t say why he did this, but as I said above, the only reason I can come up with is that this person wants only his side to be heard and has no interest in hearing anything else. This is sad and not conducive to good communication. It isn’t Christ-like.
Why do I say it isn’t Christ-like? I say this because Christ wanted people to ask questions and to respond to Him. The attitude of Christ was the free flow of questions and answers. For example, Jesus wanted folks to “learn” of Him (Matt. 11:29). This involves communication. Jesus often responded to people’s questions with a question. Again, this type of response from Christ elicits dialogue. He didn’t shut people down by essentially handing down some edict and then commanding silence. Had there been phones, He wouldn’t have told someone, “don’t call back!” In a similar vein, Christ didn’t write “anonymous” letters to people. They knew who was speaking to them and why!
The apostles followed Christ’s example. Paul emphasized the importance of “proving” or proving to oneself about God’s faithfulness and what is good (Rom. 12:2; I Thess. 5:21). “Proving” in this context involves asking and answering questions. It requires communication with the God of Heaven through prayer. God doesn’t tell people, “stop talking to me.”
“Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Ps. 133:1). The theme of unity is found throughout the Old and New Testaments. Have we realized that unity, lasting unity, Bible unity, is only achieved when we communicate? We can’t ignore differences and be united. We can’t ignore one another as a people and expect to have unity. Disunity, suspicion, etc., are the result of not communicating. Refusing to talk will destroy a home, a church, a town, a nation. Can we not see then that having such an attitude comes from Satan, the destroyer rather than God the builder?
I recognize that sometimes, people are angry and aren’t in a proper state of mind to communicate. However, this ought not to continue for long (Eph. 4:26-27). Let’s calm ourselves, and in the spirit of Christ and love for one another, let’s keep the lines of communication open (Jn. 13:34-35; Eph. 4:15). We draw closer to God and one another and understand one another’s views when we talk! Let’s not say, “Don’t call me back!” Instead, let us keep communication lines open, and let’s walk together in unity (Amos 3:3).
-- You are invited to visit with the Caneyville church of Christ. Times of services: Sun.: 10:00 am, 10:45 am, 5:00 pm; Wed.: 7:00 pm. Website: http://caneyvillechurchofchrist.com Tune in to our radio program 101.5 FM at 5:30 am, Mon-Fri. Questions? Call: (270) 589-4167