A carte blanche please?

By Dave Henning / July 9, 2023

“You can’t say please expecting carte blanche.  Generally speaking, people don’t write blank checks!  Your please has to be well-defined, like your words.  The more nuanced it is, the more meaningful it is.”- Mark Batterson

“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply — and how good is a timely word!”- Proverbs 15:25 (NIV)

“Tell all the Truth, but tell it slant.”- Emily Dickinson

Mark Batterson concludes Chapter 3 of Please Sorry Thanks with three keys to an effective please.  Above all, you need all three keys to get where you want to go.

 1.  Your please has to be precise.  Marilyn McEntyre, in her book Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies, underscores that “Stewardship of words is a high calling.”

Because, Pastor Batterson notes, imprecise words give rise to a great deal of polarization in the public sphere.  However, Mark stresses, a precise please improves your results.  Hence, Pastor Batterson directs our attention to the precise nature of Daniel’s please (Daniel 1:12).  Daniel:

  • specified their diet: vegetables
  • defined the time: ten days

People find it hard to say yes if they don’t know what they’re saying yes to.  In addition, like the blind Bartimaeus, we must be able to explain what we want and why we want it. Otherwise, we’re not ready for it.  Thus, Jesus didn’t put words in the blind man’s mouth.  Rather, He made Bartimaeus state what he wanted in his own words.  So he could own it.

2.  Your please has to be timely.  It doesn’t matter what you say if your timing is off.  Also, Mark notes the difference between a word of encouragement and a word of prophecy.  The Holy Spirit inspires a word of prophecy.  And it’s often delivered at the moment when someone most needs that word.

3.  Your please has to be personal.  You never forget receiving an incredibly thoughtful gift.  As a result, Mark exhorts, infuse your please with your personality.  Certainly, generic requests are a dime a dozen.  Consequently, it’s hard to ignore a personal please!

Today’s question: When have you expected carte blanche after saying please?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Pollyanna positivity”

About the author

Dave Henning

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