My son sent me a book. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m drawn to the title — A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Discipleship In An Instant Society. “Obedience” immediately wants me to disobey. “Long Obedience” rebels against my need for immediate gratification. “Same Direction” sounds like some kind of group dynamic I usually walk away from. “Discipleship” make me nervous because of all my failings. And, “Instant Society” is one of my pet peeves. Yet, when you put it all together I am intrigued, and can’t wait to call Walter and ask him why he sent it. I suspect this will not be the last time you hear about the book.
Words are funny things. We react to certain words like I have described above. The words we speak tell us a lot about who we are and what we believe. Notice I said “us.” Our words may mean something different to our listeners. Have you ever said something to a spouse or friend and they react, “What do you mean. What you just said doesn’t make any sense.” And you respond indigently, “Oh. You know what I mean.”
Every now and then take a moment to listen to what you say and ask yourself is that what I wanted to convey. Are my words “authentic” or am I speaking to please the listener?
The other day I caught myself speaking in mid-sentence realizing my words were not who I was or what I believed. Fortunately I could remedy the outburst. But it caused me to remember to listen to my own words a lot more carefully.