Sermon Illustrations > Tact > How to be Tactful

How to be Tactful

Charles R. Swindoll, Standing Out, (Multnomah Press, Portland, OR; 1983), p. 79

Perhaps you heard about the husband who lacked tact. Early one morning his wife left for a trip abroad...and that very day their poodle died. When she called home that evening, she asked how everything was&md;and he bluntly blurted out, "Well, the dog died!" Shocked, she chided him through tears for being so tactless, so strong.

"What should I have said?" he asked.

"You should've broken the news gently, perhaps in stages. When I called you from here in New York, you could have said, &ls;The dog is on the roof.' And the next day when I called you from London, &ls;He fell off the roof.' The following day from Paris, you could have told me, &ls;He is at the vet' the hospital.' And finally, from Rome, I could have then been informed, &ls;He died.'"

The husband paused and thought about the advice. His wife then asked, "By the way, how is mother?"

He responded, "She's on the roof!"