Written communication can be a real bugger. Especially during a conflict. While the written word is helpful by giving the writer time to sort out ideas and put them down in a well thought-out manner is beneficial, still, you can lose a lot when the words are delivered without the tone and pitch of your voice.
Here’s a good example, and you’ll see that the perspective and implication of the sentence changes when the accent is put on different individual words.
I didn’t kill my dog.
Ok, that should be straight forward enough, right? When it’s written you really only have one perspective. But if we were sitting across from one another at a table it could mean a few different things. You’ll get the best effect if you read the following sentences out loud:
*I* didn’t kill my dog. …Ok.. you didn’t, but apparently somebody did because the implication is that the dog is definitely dead)
I *didn’t* kill my dog…. Ok, this is pretty straight forward. You didn’t kill the dog. Maybe the dog is missing, but one thing is sure, whatever happened to it you certainly didn’t kill it
I didn’t *kill* my dog … Yikes. Well what did you do to it? Just harassed it? Maimed it? Tortured it? Sick-o.
I didn’t kill *my* dog. … Whose dog DID you kill?
I didn’t kill my *dog* …. Oh really? Who or what did you kill then? Psycho.
Yep. Language is tricky. And it’s really easy to mistake what somebody meant, or to even take somebody’s words and make them mean what you want them to mean. That also happens with God’s Word. A lot. It’s important to be careful and take words in the whole context of the circumstance before making an absolute judgment. What somebody said might not be what they meant. So ask them face-to-face with an open mind and give the benefit of the doubt before jumping to conclusions. Words – and implied meanings– are easy to twist. I know I’ve been guilty of judging others wrongly. That’s gross.
In other news, HERE’S something real neat-o and interesting.
Lastly, I’m excited. You know how we had been making a three hour round trip on Sundays to get to our most excellent church in Maryville? Well one of the elders from our church is in the process of moving to Morristown and planting a church right here. Our whole family is so excited to be a part of this. So if you are in East TN and looking for a Body of Believers where the whole counsel of the word is being taught, you should come and visit. By the way, the term ‘whole counsel of the Word’ is code for ‘Reformed’ and ‘Calvinistic’. Just a little bible lingo trivia for you. HERE’S the website for our new church.
Lastly last, I found a cool site that any lover of words and phrases will flip over. It’s a list of idioms, their meanings, an example of how they’re used and an explanation of how they originated. The one they didn’t have, which I REALLY want to know the origin of, is the idiom “pushing the envelope” — how did that become a phrase meaning something that is risky or borderline unacceptable?