A kind and thoughtful grandpa decided that shopping for Christmas presents had become too difficult. He had no idea what his grandkids would like and they already had everything they actually needed. So he decided to send each of them some cash.
On each card he wrote:
Happy Christmas, Grandpa P.S. Buy your own present!
It was such a thoughtful thing for him to do --or would have been if he had remembered to put the cash in the envelopes! What he had intended to be a blessing ended up being interpreted by his grandkids as an angry directive.
Do you ever attempt to bless someone by telling them what to do, but neglect to provide any resources that might make it possible for them to follow through on your guidance? I do. There are many times I give instruction but fail to provide anything that’s needed for that person to follow it.
Our message to others matters, but if we forget to include the wherewithal that might make it possible for them to do what we hoped, it's pretty easy for them to misinterpret our good intentions.
“And you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?” - James 2:16 (NLT)