A Little Bird Told Me

  • By Shawn Sommerkamp
  • 23 Feb, 2017

According to King Solomon, little birds may very well be evesdropping on your conversations and betraying you to others. Are you ready to deal with them?  

An All-Too-Familiar Scenario

Picture this scene: You have a meeting scheduled with a co-worker (your boss, your employee, a board member, a fellow colleague), and you are not looking forward to it. The truth is, you're dreading it.  You’ve had several uncomfortable discussions with this person in the recent past and it’s clear you don’t share much affection. It’s important you meet but you feel anxious nonetheless.

How can you prepare for this discussion in such a way that you achieve the most favorable outcome possible?

The answer is found in Ecclesiastes 10:20, the wisdom of Solomon.

Ecclesiastes 10:20  Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.

If I asked you to describe the purpose of this passage, what would you say? Is God telling us little birds will eves drop on our conversations and then go snitch on us? Does it reveal that there are mind-reading, flying animals looking to expose us? Of course, the answer is No! So, what is its meaning?    

What we think about others will come out in our actions and behaviors, one way or another. Our own thoughts betray us.

Can you see what I mean? Solomon paints a picture where you are alone in your bedroom, thinking poorly about someone (the king in this case.) A bird mind-reads your bad thoughts about this person, and it reports these bad thoughts to the person you are thinking poorly of.

You Just Can't Hide It - Even If You Tried

The truth is that you simply cannot hide the way you feel about a person. No matter how much you try, your inner negativity will come to light. It will come out in your body language, your communications, somehow - whether it is the distance you keep, the averted looks, the crossed arms in discussions, the cold tone to your voice, curt email responses, never being available for that person, etc. It will come out eventually.

 What can you do the next time you have a meeting with someone you have mixed feelings about?

  • Think about them in a positive light before the meeting
  • Say a prayer for this person, asking God to bring them peace
  • Tell yourself (using self-talk) the good you see in them
  • Imagine the meeting going well
  • Visualizing a pleasant response from the person
  • Picture yourself communicating with sincerity and compassion
  • Create this imagery in your mind for a few minutes just before you meet

 By the time you have the discussion, your feelings toward this person will be brighter. You will convey the non-verbal message that you think fondly of them because you were just thinking fondly of them. That little bird will tell them, “This person wants to be in this meeting with you right now and thinks highly of you.”

Consider Others More Important

Philippians 2:3  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves

During a time in my career where I was at constant odds with a customer, I taped Philippians 2:3 to my laptop screen. Every time I made a call to the customer, I read the passage and meditated for a few minutes on its truth. I visualized myself taking a humble stance in their presence.

Jesus teaches this same truth in his lessons on humility. It is better, by far, to humble ourselves. When we think poor thoughts of someone, we are looking down on them. This is true for co-workers, family members, our spouses and even ourselves.

Practice dedicating time before each meeting to meditate on these passages. Put into constant use these principles, and you will experience a radical change in the way you feel toward all, which will greatly improve the outcome of each discussion you otherwise dread.  

Shawn Sommerkamp is a motivational speaker and Executive Coach with 20+ years of Fortune 100 leadership experience.  He founded Motivationeer™ to coach Christian professionals how to use their career to glorify God and support local church growth.

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