Sermons by David J. Clark

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What to Say — I Don’t Know

In their new book, Think Like a Freak, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner call these three words the hardest words in the English language: I don’t know. Studies with children indicate that these sweet adorable kids will often look us straight in the eye and just make up answers instead of admitting that they don’t know. There is something innate about not feeling exposed by actually admitting that you don’t know something.
The more authority you have the less likely you are to admit that you don’t know. It can be disastrous in business when people won’t do the research to find out if their strategies are working the way they’d hoped. Every year billions of dollars are wasted because people are afraid to admit they don’t know if the way they’ve always done things is effective. The first step toward learning, improving and succeeding is often to say, I don’t know, and then work your tail off to go and find an answer. The truth is that people will respect you more for your honesty and diligence in coming back to them in a day or two with a well-researched and thought through answer than in your free-style bloviating supposin’ (just abbreviate bloviating supposin’).

Dayna’s Installation

I wonder if a member of the purity police has ever looked down his or her nose at you and made you feel like garbage because of something you said or did or because of how you live, or who you are. You know the purity police, the judgmental people with enough religion to hate, but not enough to love; have you ever felt their bone chilling coldness, their withering stares and wanted to knock those smug, self-righteous expressions right off their faces?

There have always been purity police and the ones of Jesus day launched guilt by association charges against Jesus, “This fellow welcomes tax collectors and sinners and eats with them.” They judged Jesus by the company he kept. It was a little like junior high cafeterias where there is a table for the cool kids, one for the musicians, one for the gifted, the athletes, and so on. Jesus kept sitting at the table of the outcasts and screw ups and people noticed. O, you are one of them, are you? Listen, you can’t go soft on these people, or they will never learn, they have to be cut off from regular folks you can’t go around eating with them, accepting them. They will get the wrong message. You should be like us and initiate a 10 foot pole policy. We wouldn’t touch those kinds of people with a ten foot pole and neither should you.