Monday, January 25, 2010


So, THOUGHTS and ATTITUDES! Now where? The next logical step in self-examination is my TALK. What I think and how I feel usually will find a way of getting their message out, regardless the wisdom of it, or its consequences.

I saw a quote by Plato the other day that grabbed my attention. “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” Now, that’s a mind jerker for one who’s calling involves TALKING. I had to stop and reflect on how much unnecessary YADA YADA I may have done in a day’s time, all because I thought I had to “have something to say” every time I found an opening in the conversation. I think whoever said “silence is golden” may have a lot of wisdom.

I have discovered in my years of ministry that the best thing I can do very often is use my ears more than my mouth, other than to eat that is, and it is probably wise that I take more rest in that area, as well, if you get my meaning. Well, I’m working on that issue, too, but that’s “fodder” for another blog. LISTENING while others TALK accomplishes several important tasks. First, it acknowledges the other person’s importance, as well as, what they have to say. It also gives the listener a base of information from which to act or respond. And, of equal value, it provides the listener with time to insure that what he does say is the very best.

What can I say? For those of you that know me, you know I like WORDS. I am fascinated by new words, by the words that I hear, and the way that they are used in conversation. You couple that with my drive to YADA YADA and you have a periodic attempt at humor launched mid-conversation. Example. Last night my wife and I returned home after church and she noticed she’d left a light ON, so made that fact known to me in a very simple statement. “I left a light on.” My “bent” kicked-in and I responded, “ON WHAT?” She, of course, being used to my verbal antics, plays the role of naivete and I am allowed to “carry-on” a bit longer, sometimes launching into a whole other word direction. It’s a game we play, though sometimes I realize that I’m being “humored” more than initiating a “game” that has an equal amount of joy experienced by the other person. Herein is my first point of discovery about the subject of RIGHT WALK TALKIN’.

“It’s just who I am!” comes to mind as my first excuse. But I know that deep down I sometimes, shall we say, “Go overboard!” Humor is certainly not wrong, nor is learning new words and their proper use. I write stories, poetry and songs and words are a necessity to communicate properly their meanings. And practicing words, even ‘mid humor injected in conversation has its benefits. It can be a release valve for tension that develops in a group or one on one. If two persons engage in a friendly exchange of banter built on words and their ‘oft humorous use, it even has a skill building benefit. Example: My Broco (aka, Brother-Cousin) Ray and I have an unwritten commitment to begin a light-hearted session with a fast-paced word exchange, one word building on another. Well, you’d have to be there! But you get the point! Now, back to “going overboard” – I am convicted that I must be careful to watch my TALK merely for TALK’S sake, lest I begin to destroy the witness of my true THOUGHT and ATTITUDE, and most of all my TRUE WALK with my Lord. I am counseled by Scripture to put away from my TALK, “…foolish talking…jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.” (Eph. 5:4) There ARE times it is convenient, and there ARE times when it is not. Plato and Paul are in agreement on that point.

There are, of course, other concerns with regard to our RIGHT WALK TALKIN’. In the book RETURN TO HOLINESS that I have mentioned before in my blog, the author has drawn my attention to other types of TALK in his third category, namely, Sins of Speech. Paul’s letter to Ephesus is referenced related to “corrupt and filthy” words. (4:29; 5:4) “Lying” is yet another form of ill-used TALK that destroys one’s witness of the truth. (Col. 3:9) These show that our former WALK as unredeemed still spills over into our new life in Christ, and reflects negatively on Him. Oh, My, stop and consider the weight of that issue. Other WALK TALKS such as “gripe and complaint. bitterness, wrath, anger, evil speaking” and the contentious spirit that accompanies them, also warrant our watchfulness and guarding of TALK, lest we give the world more reason to reject the Saviour than they already possess. (I Cor. 10:10;I Thess 5:18; Eph. 4:31; I Cor. 1:10)

We are counseled by Paul in “speaking the truth in love” that we “may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” (Eph. 4:15) And again, “be angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” (Eph. 4:26) There is righteous anger but our TALK is to be in truth and that which becomes Christ’s mind. A final word of challenge to my heart and yours from Paul, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearer.” (Eph. 4:29)

You know, as I reflect upon the TALK of our Lord, I believe He laughed and appreciated a good joke with the disciples with whom He WALKED. But He also knew the critical shortness of time that He had to be with them. His TALK mirrored a perfect WALK, and He never spoke just to be TALKIN’. Even His light moments had a depth of meaning. Oh, Lord, may mine be so, too!



Ray Edwards said...

Jim, I am afraid that what I consider humor sometimes only humors the humorist. (that being me. Sometimes it's just plain "corney." Having said that humor can be a wonderful way of getting accross the truth. There is nothing wrong with humor for humors sake, but we must be careful not to go too far. I appreciate your dive into the issue, and you make some great points. For me I get in trouble when I take the easy way, which is to talk instead of listen. The listening is what I need to work on. Marie has reminded me several times that it would be nice if worked on this particular virtue.

Thanks again,

Amber said...

An excellent lesson for all of us. I definitely can learn to listen more. For sure.

Love you much.

Mich said...

Sometimes I think I need a hearing aide and my mouth taped shut.

Great post, Dad!

And Dad, you wouldn't be you without the bantering...and I wouldn't be me if I didn't say "I got it! I got it!"

Love you much!

Jo said...

Well, Bro...
I have to say that for a very long, verrrrry loonnnggg time, I have been one of the reciprients of your "light-hearted banter." While there are times I could throw a shoe at you (or whatever was handy), I know that you wouldn't be you if you didn't do what you do. I love you anyway!

I do admit that, from time-to-time, I should listen more and talk less. Not long ago, someone commented about me being "chatty." I've thought about that since, and realized that maybe I COULD "zip-it" and listen more. I'm working on that.

Wouldn't you like to know of some of the joking that took place between Jesus and his disciples? And, to hear him laugh? I would. And, maybe we will some day.

I was going to begin this comment by saying, "Words escape me here," but as you can see, they didn't! I just couldn't pass this one up to expound on a little bit.