Know when more information is needed

By Gerry Lewis | Published Wednesday, July 23, 2014

You’ve heard of TMI, right? “Too much information.”

You know, when someone tells you a story and includes details that you really never wanted to hear? And once the story is over, you think to yourself, “I can never unhear that!”

Well, I want to introduce a new set of initials. MIN: “More information needed.”

Just when you think you have it figured out, life throws you another curve ball, and you find out that there is more to it than you thought.

I told a story in last week’s post about a little flooding we had in our house. I, along with most people I told, was amazed that so much water could have come under the front door of our house – especially since we have lived here for 23 years and it’s never before happened.

As last week’s column was being published in the paper, we were getting another 3-inch plus rain. I was at home getting ready for a trip out of town for the weekend, so I had the opportunity to keep a close watch on the front door. The water never got anywhere close!

Upon returning home late Saturday night, I was greeted with a musty smell when I opened the door. No water there, but damp carpet in the two bedrooms that were flooded the last time. Looks like there may be a leak. Obviously, this was a case of MIN!

It will also be a case of MMN (more money needed).

In our lives, there’s always more to it than we think. Because of that, we need some strategies to keep us from stumbling over the unexpected.

So, here are three that I can think of:

1. Don’t jump to conclusions. There is probably always MIN to develop a proper response. It’s much more cost, time and relationship effective to pause long enough to get adequate information than it is to back up and apologize because you have made an inaccurate assumption.

James 1:5 says, “If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.”

2. Don’t do it alone. The minute you think you don’t need input from anyone else, you are headed for a HOW (“heck-of-a-wreck”). The landscape of life is littered with the debris of people who thought they were the smartest and most talented people in the room.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor; For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”

3. God loves you and your life matters to Him. Psalm 95:7 says, “for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.”

His love: it’s more than you think.

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association headquartered in Decatur.

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