An ordinary phone conversation that turned quite comical last week got me to thinking about how poorly we all do with our words, let me explain:
So I called my sister’s home last week from the office, my brother-in-law Jeff had left the office and was already at home, in fact they were eating dinner. I was about to leave the office and just needed to ask them a couple quick questions. After speaking a couple minutes with my sister, I asked to speak with Jeff – the conversation wasn’t that important, in fact I don’t even really recall what we were discussing or what I had to ask him. At the end of the conversation is where it took an interesting turn. Typically the end of a phone call with me goes something like this: neal repeats most of what you all just said in some form of a summary and then proceeds with “okay man that sounds good – ya’ll have a good one – I’ll talk to ya lata” Jeff responds “okay thanks for calling man” – THEN SHOULD BE neal “aight lata” – Jeff “buy-bye”
– but what took place on this day went something like: neal “aight man talk to ya lata”
– Jeff “okay LOVE YOU, bye” ………………. then an awkward pause and then laughter in the background as I proceeded to quickly lift the phone back to my ear – you see it was such a normal conversation that as I was beginning to say good-bye I had already pulled the phone from my ear to hang up – until I heard those strange words “okay LOVE YOU, buh-bye” – now that may not seem so funny to you – except if you heard his tone you KNEW that it was the general/typical end to the conversation that he had for his wife MY SISTER LISA ha ha ha – he had gotten so used to just tagging that on at the end of their phone calls that habit kicked in and he ended our call the same way.
When I got the phone back to my ear he asked if I had heard him and I was laughing and said yeah – he then asked if I could hear the girls (Madison and Macy their lil girls ages 7 & 5) in the background – they were just howling because of how funny it was for daddy to tell uncle neal that he loved him on the phone.
This immediately made me recall an episode of the “King of Queens”. (I love that show) Doug & Carrie would always end their phone calls by quickly tacking on “love you” and the other would respond “love you too” – one day Doug asked Carrie how she would feel if they didn’t do that every time, but instead did so randomly so it would mean that much more. At first he thought she would hate it but she did agree and thought that it would be better for them in the long run. The funny moment was that at the end of the conversation they both again ended it with “love you” because it had become so commonplace and “old hat” to do so. Then a few minutes later Doug called Carrie and said he was doing so “just to say I love you” and this meant so much more to her.
Now why in the WORLD am I talking about all this – well first let me say I am not making a judgment on my brother-in-law & sister’s relationship that they are just without thinking saying they love one another – that is not it at all.
The point I am trying to get at is this – how about in our relationship with God? How often do we utter words – how often do “I” utter words of praise, love, adoration, commitment, honor, and the list goes on and on – only to simply hang up the proverbial phone and forget all about it. How many times do we – how many times do “I” just say those things to “get off the phone” with God – or because other people are watching me and I have to sound “holy” – or others are offering up what may be their deepest true feelings to God and we feel like we have to follow?????? Man it is sobering to think how often we – how often “I” have not said what I mean and/or not meant what I said to God – much less others in my life.
So I am asking us all – ME being the first – to seriously take into consideration what we say, how flippant we are about the things we say. I mean think about these words from Jesus found in Matthew 15:8-10 that were originally found in Isaiah chapter 29 and verse 13. This is a powerful call to thinking more about what we say, why we say it, how we say it, and what do we truly mean!
I mean – do we really wish “luck” to people on things or do we believe that God is ultimately in control and will work things out according to His will?
Do we really “worry” as much as we say we do (and I am thinking we probably do) – cause Jesus told not to worry (see Matthew 6:25-34) – but yet somehow we have made it okay to not follow what He says here and worry has become the “acceptable sin”
What about the words to so many of the praise choruses and hymns that we sing each week – is it truly better to spend ONE DAY in His courts than a thousand elsewhere? Is God truly more precious than silver, more costly than gold, and more beautiful than diamonds? Do we treat Him this way?
I am sure you could come up with a million other examples of the way our words lose their meaning and flavor and power due to the actions of our lives – so won’t you help me – to help each other to begin to truly SAY WHAT WE MEAN and MEAN WHAT WE SAY in all of our relationships but most importantly in the one with our Heavenly Father?