Home Youth Leaders Youth Leaders Blogs Do You Think You’re Beyond the Need for “The 24 Hour Rule”?

Do You Think You’re Beyond the Need for “The 24 Hour Rule”?

I almost did.
Recently, I had a conversation with a middle school parent that really frustrated me.
This person said & did some things that just felt unkind to me at best, and maybe even manipulative & simply inappropriate. Maybe you’ve been there.

I wanted to vent it all over the place.
I wanted to tell people how I felt like this parent had mistreated me.
I wanted to tell that parent all the reasons why their actions were inappropriate.

But I decided to give it 24 hours.
Not a brand new idea, for sure, but a good one.
It gave me time to breathe deep, ask God for real help, and decide the best course of action.

There was a part of me that wanted to turn my back on it, and pretend it didn’t happen… that’s not what I’m talking about. I did end up having a follow up conversation with him – – but I didn’t come away with a fairy-tale-ending. Essentially, we decided that we have pretty different perspectives on his actions. But the emotionally-charged, anger-inflamed things I would have said to him 24 hours earlier stayed in my mouth. And the people who I considered talking to, so I could question this guy’s character, now don’t need a follow-up apology phone call from me.

I will interact differently with this guy in the future, in light of how he handled himself. But I was glad to have taken 24 hours to think, instead of 24 hours of “unhelpful” words I could have spoken!

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Scott Rubin has been on staff at Willow Creek Community Church for 18 years, and he's currently the director of Elevate, the junior high ministry at Willow Creek. Scott, along with an entirely-fantastic team of staff and volunteer leaders, has the privilege of helping young adolescents follow Jesus. He also co-authored two books in the Middle School Survival Series with Mark Oestreicher.