Monday, November 12, 2012

Say What?

Next in the Incarnating spiritual disciplines comes... control of the tongue.

Ouch. I'm already wincing because this one will be harder for mama than for kiddos.

The desire is: to turn the way I use words into authentic, loving, healing speech; to reveal Christ in the use of my words (spoken or written).

We live in a say-anything culture. Our culture feels instant-response is normal. Our culture snacks on sound-bites all day.

Sarcasm? Big doses. Criticism? Expected. Craving social media responses and followers? Rewiring us. Gossip? Just staying ahead. Half-truths? Managing reactions. Positioning myself.

Tutoring a French III student a few weeks ago, she replied,
"You know, sarcasm is what I do. Why doesn't it work here?"
She's trying to write a dialog with requests and refusals.
"Well, the French don't have sarcasm as a tool. Our humor doesn't always resonate with them." 
"But, they have to make fun of things, right? I mean, how else can it be done?"
Rather than reveal the culturally accurate response, let's pause here. Sometimes my words fall into a mechanism, a default way of speaking and writing. Sometimes it's my body or face that talks.

Gracious speech is like clover honey --
good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.
Proverbs 16:24 MSG

I resolve to wear something, like a bracelet, in a way that reminds me most of each day to slow down and notice how my words affect others. Be a conduit of healing, as God inhabits my heart.

What a good coincidence! Being thankful this month carries deeper shades of meaning when it arrives with ribbons of healing words and a beautiful wrapping of tone and posture. Want to join me?

James 3 MSG
And if you're like me and need motivation, try writing down your efforts at changing your words. Then play with them! Wordle and Tagxedo are easy to use and give beautiful results. Ironically, it is so easy to reorient, reposition, and reweight words in these generators... You could also use Tagxedo in reverse, and see which words run in frequency in your social media.

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