“Thank you for saying something…”
This one phrase can change your life!

by | Jul 10, 2024

I am thankful to have massages on a regular basis which help tremendously with physical as well as mental health. My massage therapist, Malik,is extremely skilled, and although he is well aware that I like light pressure, there are rare occasions when he presses too hard. When that happens, I gently speak up, and he always responds the same exact way — by saying, Thank you for saying something.” And then, he changes whatever technique he is using that is causing discomfort.

A few months ago, I wrote this post about a snarky letter I received from a minister in our district who received my e-newsletter. I assumed he didn’t want to be on my mailing list, or didn’t like what I wrote. I’m surprised he didn’t just unsubscribe, or report me for spam. But, he didn’t. Instead, he clicked ‘reply’ and wrote me a not-so-nice letter. Although he didn’t come straight out and say, “I don’t like you and I don’t like what you write,” the basic tenor of this note was, “Who are you to write to me and speak into my life about anything?!”

I decided to respond kindly and thank him for reaching back out to me, as well as to thank him for his feedback. After the friendly way I responded, he did a complete turnaround and began writing me encouraging notes on a regular basis. In fact, it’s rare now for me to not hear from him every week! As time went on, he let me know he’d love to come hear me preach in person when I’m in his area. But now… things have gone to a whole new level since my last blog post about this…

On Monday when I arrived at the office, I saw a paper on my desk. It was a copy of a check we just received in the mail. I looked more closely and realized, the check was from this same man! He is now supporting our ministry financially! Judi thought I may want to personally send a thank you note, and she was right.

Here are a few thoughts I have about this:

What if, like Malik, we all begin to respond to everyone with, “Thank you for saying something…”?

In my most recent post on this, I shared that responding in this manner does three things:

  • It de-escalates the situation
  • It encourages communication
  • It helps you maintain control

But here’s the thing I never expected…it can also help you pay the bills!

Let’s just keep it real here.

Responding in a thoughtful fashion is important in garnering and maintaining support. Hence, the reason I keep going back to Malik time after time and tipping him well, and hence the reason my new minister friend is now sending my department checks in the mail. Gracious responses go a long way.

This is unfortunately the opposite of some things I have recently become aware of in ministry:

  • I was told of a church that put, “Your grandma is not welcome here!” on their church sign. (Yes, this is for real. I know, it’s mind-blowing, right?) I guess they were trying to convey, “We’re a young church that is targeting your grand kids more than you….” Or, “We don’t care what grandma thinks, we’re just here to reach the young people!” While it’s extremely important that kids attend church and love it, we don’t have to throw grandma out to do that.
  • I am repeatedly informed of churches/leaders who, when receiving concerns or complaints of any kind, respond with things like, “If you don’t like it, there’s the door…” and “Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya,” and all kinds of other gobbledygook of the same nature. This isn’t funny. Is it just me, or do these responses seem anything but pastoral?  I can’t imagine heroes of the faith who have gone before us saying things like this.
  • I’ve heard of leaders responding with things like, “I’m playing to an audience of one. I don’t exist to please you.” (I didn’t realize we were at a performance or that the body of Christ was merely an audience…)

Not only are these responses unChristlike, they also aren’t the type that result in strong support that every person, leader and church needs to thrive. As my wise grandma used to say, “You catch more flies with honey!” (Not that we’re into catching flies either, but you know what I mean.)

“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” Dorothy Nevill

What if, upon hearing any concern from anyone we simply responded with, “Thank you for saying something…” and then we listened? While we can’t and shouldn’t run to and fro trying please everyone (an impossibility) I truly believe most people long to be heard. And when they are heard, everything changes for them even if you don’t end up changing whatever it is they were upset about.

Many times, things change for the listener, too.

Relationships often change, simply because someone was heard.

The Bible says there is great compensation for listening…

“Listening is the beginning of understanding. Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening. Let the wise listen and add to their learning and let the discerning get guidance.” Proverbs 1:5

Today there is a shortage of people who will listen — of leaders who will listen,and respond kindly even when they don’t like what they are hearing.

What could happen in your life if you start responding with, “Thank you for saying something…”?


  1. Laura Elizabeth Flora

    Deanna I know what it’s like to have unChristlike things said to and about me from Christian friends and leaders in my life throughout my life…..

    That has changed tremendously since starting at Celebration and being under Yours and Pastor Larry and Pastor Linda’s Leadership….

    Truth is y’all have said some Hard Things to me, but out of Love and Care and for me To Grow and I can’t tell you this enough……
    Thank You for Saying This To Me….

    Because of you,
    I am growing in my faith, Growing in self leadership, which is helping me with my
    over all health. Mental, Emotional, and Physical where I am shrinking not growing LOL as in weight 😉.

    So Thank You for telling me the hard things…. Thank you for Loving me…. Thank You ❤️🫂❤️

    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      I am so grateful for all that God is doing in your life, and glad to be a small part of it.


    Thank you Dr. Shrodes for being part of the real conversations among the believers.
    So many of us, even in the body of Christ, need to learn how to live peacefully with others by listening, and when appropriate, by thinking more than twice before uttering.
    May the Holy Spirit continue to inspire you to go deeper and deeper in the knowledge of God’s way, and direct your thoughts for inspiring and anointed writings.
    Much blessings.

    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      Thank you for your kind words! God bless you!


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