And Jesus said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his [accomplishments]." And he told them a parable, saying, "The [mind] of a rich [wo]man produced plentifully, and [s]he thought to [her]self, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my [thoughts]?' And [s]he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my [blog] and build [a more accomplished one], and there I will store all my [thoughts] and my [writings]. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample [publications and a great reputation]; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to [her], 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A thought or two on speech that edifies.

Recently I have noticed in me a flaw. I am slow to speak my fondness for my family and friends and affirm their strengths. I'm not sure why this is, though I have some guesses. Could I be withholding praise because I'm envious? Maybe I find the practice of overt complimenting shallow or uncomfortable. Or perhaps I have not trained my mind and tongue to take that course in conversation, steering it instead in the direction of self.

Whatever the answer, I know my motives are ugly. But I also know that the first step in the process of eliminating a bad habit is admitting that the habit needs to go away. The second step, then, is soliciting God's help ('cause goodness knows I can't banish a bad habit single-handedly). Even David challenged God to bring his faults to light, saying in the famous Psalm 139, "Search me O God and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and then lead me in the everlasting way."

So in the same way, I will challenge God to reveal and eliminate ugly parts of my speech patterns. I know that when a person gets rusty or under-rehearsed in the practice of affirming loved ones, compliments tend to roll off the tongue like boulders -- sluggish, laborious and awkward. I want there to be a ease and naturalness to my edifying speech. I want my words to bring life as I praise and celebrate my family and friends.

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