To speak or not to speak-that is the question.

I’m a fairly wordy person. It’s relatively safe to say what takes me 40 words to describe can easily take others 20..and my husband 5. I take pride in my eclectic vocabulary, perfect use of the correct form of “they’re, there, and their,” and other homophones. I’m humored from time to time at other’s lack of understanding of the English language and thus am faced with an internal battle of “do I play teacher and correct them or do I spare my holier than thou thoughts and let them go on their merry way of shameful typeo’s?” This all comes full circle with life in general, eh? (I’m not from Canada.)

How many times do we feel we’re superior to others in any aspect of life, see other’s failing miserably, or not so miserably, and struggle with whether or not to speak up? If I could speak to my college self I’d probably throw a mean left hook, pull a little hair, and say “You’re a walking disaster.” I’m sure family hypothetically did the same during those, what are they called??-formative??, years but my head was too far up my backside and into materialism/not studying that I couldn’t hear a darn thing. How do we effectively speak truth to friends, family, acquaintances, or strangers about their behavior without being percieved as pompous, annoying, or meddling?

 The line is blurry, y’all and my eyesight is nearing the blind zone so I’m not one to trust on determing what’s acceptable. What I do know, however, is if I’m committed to you in any capacity I’m probably going to hurt your feelings a time or two. Knowing this I fully accept and encourage a little “feeling hurt-ness” from you. We can’t all walk around like we own the place, fully confident that our ways are His ways, and then fall flat on our face wondering who pushed us. Newsflash! You tripped over your own selfishness. I’ve got a face full of bruises from my own tripping and if my past is any indication of my future, or just how sinful I am, my face is only going to get more black and blue.

Please see this as a charge of encouragement, a charge of trusting your relationships enough with one another to point out the ugly to uncover the beautiful. Lord knows there’s much in my own life I’m blind to and most days my dear husband is on the receiving end of my not wanting to see it. It ain’t pretty but he loves me regardless. For example, I’m a wicked efficient driver. Others call me “terrible.” I disagree. There are few things I hate more than being the driver in my car with Chris as the passenger. I know he holds his tongue as I follow too closely or edge close to speeding but for the times he does comment on my sub-par driving I’m on the defensive. If I’m driving then let me drive, right? Right. I’ve seen this as a small but indicitive area of needing change in my life. The heart of the issue is not that I’m a good driver and Chris is an idiot and can’t see it but that I’m so full of myself that I can’t see past the steering wheel the car in front of me and that, friends, is a disaster waiting to happen.

Can we commit together to trust that those around us who are encouraging us to change aren’t being difficult or rude but rather see areas for us to be better? Can we commit to erring on the side of love instead of defense and really putting into practice the words of love and advice from those around us? Can we also commit to speaking this truth lovingly to others? To point out their own areas of weakness while remaining mindful of the fact that we equally don’t have it all together? Here’s hoping at some point I’ll learn how to appropriately operate a motor vehicle and explain to someone that using “there” instead of “they’re” is just ignorance and can easily be fixed with a little lesson in Elizabeth’s School of the English Language.

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