What is the Game of Hints? It is a game of intrigue and mystery. It’s a game that will always leave you hanging; as you piece together the clues left by other participants. The game is full of perplexing riddles.
Am I talking about the Game of Thrones? Is it a modern version of the classic game of Clue? Did I mention that the game is free and anyone can play? The game can take place, anywhere and any time. You don’t even need a computer.
Guess what? You are probably already playing it. The Game of Thrones and Clue are actual games; the Game of Hints is not a real game. What is meant by the Game of Hints? What am I talking about?
The Game of Hints is played by giving subtle hints about your feelings or thoughts; yet you never directly say anything. You’re hoping that the other person would get a clue, from your hints and clues.
Have you ever played in a casino or gamble? The Game of Hints has something in common; you’re taking a risk in the person correctly guessing your intentions. If you’re lucky, then he will correctly interpret your clues. If not, the person will blindly go forward and totally misinterpret you.
How shall I make my point? Some time ago, I found an extreme example of this practice. The story serves to showcase the folly of leaving hints. I can readily recall the bizarre incident and I suspect the story was real. It was a dramatic illustration of the dangers of not directly saying anything.
I am not going to repeat that story; as you will have to locate it, on your own. Though my stories are not so melodramatic; I have my own adventures with the Game of Hints. How shall I illustrate?
The following story is real; however, I have purposely changed some of the facts, to preserve privacy. I don’t want to make the same error, yet again. By the way, here is a spoiler alert: I already deleted the offending tweet.
What happened? Keep reading and you’ll find out.
Over a year ago, I took a peek at my site traffic and I notice a visitor, from a certain city named Forget It. When I saw the city, I immediately recognize the identity of my visitor. How could recognize the person? I know of only one person that lived in the City of Forget it.
The young man is a public figure and I was both, excited and grateful for the visit. I visited the person’s Twitter page and tweeted the following message. “Hey Ty, I notice a visit from Forget It City and I immediately thought of you. Thanks for coming by.”
In truth, I do value all my visitors; however, this person’s visit actually meant something. At the time, I gave no thoughts to my public tweet to a Twitter celebrity. You may be tempted to think the man appreciated the short message. Think, again!
The young man was quite upset with me, for he didn’t like the disclosure of his home city. Sadly, he never directly told me, of the offense. It would be months, before I would discover my error.
How did this person find my blog? The young man is a Christian and a capable YouTube entertainer. I knew of him, through his brother’s YouTube channel. I had assumed the guy would be interested in some of my stories.
Ty is not the only person that I tweeted; I would also contact his brother, through his own Twitter page. What did I tweet? I would tweets about my blog stories and some other stuff. I will be upfront and admit that I was not very careful with my handling sensitive information.
The brothers became quite upset, with me; however, there is one problem. I was never told of the offense. Though they did block me; I could see their public Twitter profile; as I typically don’t log out.
Did you notice your tweets were blocked? I have my screen set to 350% magnification for the purpose of writing. Yes, I am nearsighted. For general viewing, it’s set to 200% magnification.
It’s why I never saw the message of “Your tweet has been blocked”. For you, it may be a lame excuse; however, it is the reason that I took so long in learning.
The problem kept growing and I kept on playing the ever-increasing idiot. I could easily be more graphic; however, it’s not really necessary. Did they make any attempt to contact me?
Though they could have visited my blog and found my email address; I never got any mails expressing their anger. On the other hand, I did send the other brother, a couple of emails.
At one point, I sensed something was wrong and it was not by any outward signs. In my mind, it seems the one brother was upset with me. As a result, I tried to talk with the brother, via email. I never got a reply; in regards to that mail. Yet, my uneasiness kept growing.
Ah, the hints kept piling up and I was totally oblivious. When is this idiot going to get a clue? One fine summer day, I get an email from the older brother. I was totally shocked. I was more shocked by the letter than the content of the email. Guess what?
He was very legitimately upset with me. He has a perfect right to be angry; as I was rather careless with my earlier tweets. I was sharing some things; he’d rather I didn’t share. After I read the letter, I felt terrible; as I had no ideas of the hurts.
What does the Scripture has to say about the Game of Hints? Believe it or not, Jesus does gives some very good advice about it. Let’s just say that Jesus is not a fan of the Game of Hints.
In Matt 5:23-24, Jesus gives this remarkable advice:
23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
It appears Jesus is more concerned about relationship than a religion. In Matt 18:15, Jesus makes a similar statement; except there is one difference:
15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.
After I finished reading the email, I immediately sought to apologize for my hideous actions. I am not overly dramatic; as I really did felt bad. If someone says you’re scaring the heck out him, then you are scaring the heck out of them.
Suddenly, the clues began to make sense. I finally did see the message about blocked tweets. After the shock, I made a few attempts to contact the brothers and ask for forgiveness. I did not stop, there. I dug through my old tweets and deleted the offending messages. Why? I never intended harm, to anyone.
I have one goal in sharing the above story. Though my friends are right in their anger; they erred in not directly contacting me. Surely this guy will take a hint and leave. Obviously, it did not happen that way.
If you have a problem with someone, then you should go talk with the person. Don’t let the problem escalate and you should not leave it, to chance. Don’t make the same mistakes that we did.
Don’t play the Game of Hints! It’s not worth the potential hurts that can be caused by the leaving of hints. It’s like gambling. Do you want to take the risk of your hints going the wrong way?
Only God can see our hearts and thoughts. On the other hands, a person judge by outward appearance and behaviors. We’re not God; we can’t read minds or see what is in a person’s heart.
Don’t be afraid of directly saying something. It may be that you will avoid a lot of grief and sorrow. Don’t be afraid to ask God, the Father for help.