Does the messenger even matter?

I have learned so many things recently and in the past 10 years from people for whom I have a distaste.

I have come to realize that the messenger delivering a piece of truth to me is often immaterial.  In fact, a skill that adds to my ability to learn, grow and move forward is the skill of learning from virtually anyone or any circumstance.

My wife and I were seeing our family counselor this week (aka, The Referee) to continue to work through some of our family blending matters.  We have both proactively and reactively sought his guidance over the past few years since we have been married and raising our kids.

The Referee was in some kind of odd mood this week.  He was somewhat abrupt in his feedback to us and just a little off his game.  We have been seeing him for 2 years and this was the first time he was out of sorts.  Must have had something going on in the background that he was being affected by.

I determined that since I had invested time and money into this session, that  I was going to get something out of it in spite of his atypical mood.  Now I didn’t care for the way he communicated some of his advice to us, but I applied it nonetheless and wouldn’t you know, it worked!

Yes, even if the messenger is a little off kilter does not mean he cannot carry a message.  I find I cannot let my petty biases nor offendability get in the way of what lessons I have coming my way.

Most often, we will be spoken to by imperfect people who imperfectly deliver our messages to us.  I am glad that I have learned to receive as much as possible from all the messengers in my life.  Including the ones I don’t care for.  Developing this ability is proving to be a tremendous asset that pays returns.




About Chaz

Husband, father, brother, son, friend. Sober member of AA. Grateful for the life God gave me and for the happy struggle of recovery.
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8 Responses to Does the messenger even matter?

  1. Piper Bayard says:

    Hi Chaz. What a great reminder that the message is more important than the messenger. Similarly, there are people in my life right now that bring out my irritation and defensiveness, and there is exactly no logical reason why they should. I’m currently focusing on what it is about me that is making me react so unfairly to them. I’m looking forward to learning whatever lesson it is that their presence is teaching me and moving on. 🙂 Thanks for another great post.

  2. Chaz says:

    Hi Piper… yes, the disfavour in people is often simply a trigger of one of our weaknesses. Other times they are simply being rude, cruel, inconsiderate or inappropriate in some other manner.

    Either situation can teach us something. Either way, there is a chance to learn and grow.



  3. zeemanb says:

    Hi Chaz, no revelations out of me today, just wanted to stop in and say hello and see what’s going on! BUT I do think that the irony of someone I do NOT like providing me with a valid or beneficial viewpoint is like this little humility landmine…..I generally lose a leg to one of those weekly, lol.

    Take care,

    • Chaz says:

      Hi Jerry… been a while bro. Nice to hear from you.

      Ya… humbling it is. But if we step on that kind of landmine, at least we dont lose a leg permanently. We limp away better, wiser, hopefully more humble than we were before.



  4. kweenmama says:

    Since I am also part of a blended family, I would love to hear the advice your “referee” gave that worked for you…maybe we could try it here!

    • Chaz says:

      KM! Thanks for stopping by.

      Advice from the referee…. well lets see… mainly that our frustration over pre-teen and teen kids not cleaning up after themselves is not grounds for family breakdown. And that putting up with huffing and grumping when they are reminded is also not worth reacting to. Kids will simply do this kind of stuff and frankly, it beats other challenges they could get into by a country mile.

      This was one thing that we knew already but sure helps to have a neutral thrid-party say it to both of us. Especially me since I am the one less tolerant of laziness and these are my step kids so I have less of a position to enforce that Mom does.

      Referee simply suggested we be 100% united in our position on chores and personal responsibilities for kids and 100% consistent in expectations of household rules. Intermitent reinforcement is anti-productive. It leaves kids to seek the gaps in the armour and manipulate them.

      Thats it! Nothing profound…. just same stuff but re-stated (although somewhat abruptly due to his mood). But it worked. We have seen improvement already.



  5. Heidi says:

    Listening to people that I found off-putting at AA meetings taught me something about my own prejudices. I’m a note-taker and often would find that the most insightful notes I took came from someone that I didn’t like at all! It was an eye-opener for me. I had no idea how my prejudices had kept me from truth in the past. I try hard to give everyone an equal opportunity for speaking the truth. I think it’s another one of those evidences that God has a sense of humor, in that I learned a lot from people I didn’t like. Truth is truth, despite the messenger or my prejudices.

    • Chaz says:

      Thanks Heidi…. my point exactly… very well put.

      Truth through unlikely messengers continue to come my way. I agree that it does indeed seem like God is using his sense of humour in these respects.

      Leaves me wonder how God looking at us with our petty prejudices and differences that are perhaps huge in our sight and feelings, if they barely register on his outlook and he simply delivers truth to us regardless.

      You’ve triggered a thought for a new post that is timely to my weekend.

      Thanks as always for dropping by contributing to the dialogue.



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