It ain’t what you say it’s the way that you say it

Earlier today I posted a blog which explained, in rather emotive words, exactly how I felt about something going on at church. Having listened to wiser heads than mine I subsequently pulled it.

I’m someone who is very passionate about what I do and at times I’m unable to distill that passion into words that are socially acceptable.  I suppose you may say that I’m liable to blog post without thinking.  I don’t write to shock people and I most certainly don’t write to upset people, but one of my deep frustrations is that I can’t verbalise what I want to say.  If I’m at a meeting, I can’t get the words out of my mouth in the articulate form that they come out of the ends of my fingers in.  However, venting my frustration in a post after an event is going to contribute what to the debate?  Nothing.

So, along with being able to write – which I can do, I need to develop two skills:  The first is to be able to moderate what I say, so that events like this morning don’t happen again.  After all, I have a valid point so why shouldn’t I express it?  The matter at hand is not what I say but the manner in which I say it.

The second thing, is that I need to develop the ability to speak in public, without it all coming out in a garbled unintelligible mess.  That way, when it comes to church meetings – the proper forum for my concerns to be aired in – I will not be sat there gnawing at my own knuckles in frustration because I can’t get my words out.

I have only just discovered my own voice and I’m learning how to use it.  Sometimes I get it right but an awful lot of the time I get it wrong.  I do believe I have a part to play in the role of my church, but squandering my opportunity to be taken seriously by posting strident, but nevertheless brilliant 😉 blog-posts, is not going to help my case one bit.

There are several loud voices in our church meeting and we hear the same ones every month.  I would like to be able to contribute to the discussion if there are points that I feel need to be made. At the last meeting there was.

Church administration is something I feel passionately about. After four years in the job, I know something about it too.  While others may see the swan gliding serenely through the water, I’m one of the few who sees the paddling like mad underneath. If you are going to talk leadership team workload then it would be wrong of me not to speak up.  After all, James 4:17 (NLT) says “Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”

It would be wrong to sit on the sidelines and let my overworked Pastors get even more burnt out and not speak up to defend them. However, I’m not going to persuade others to my cause if I’m going to get people’s backs up with what I say.

It has to be part of my development process as a writer that I learn to communicate effectively.  The mental imagery of wanting to club someone around the head with the church meeting minutes file may be very funny, but isn’t going to get me taken seriously in a forum that matters.

As a Christian, I consult the Bible for words of advice and in this regard I would do well to look to the most excellent Proverbs 15:1

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

I absolutely don’t want to stir up anger, but good honest debate…  Count me in!

…Just let me write down my contributions first.

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One Response to It ain’t what you say it’s the way that you say it

  1. Judi says:

    Writers are articlulate people and will find a place to put their emotions down on paper and that is ok, you just need to find a safe place for that. For me that is my LiveJournal, which I have restricted to people I trust. For a more public blog I think it is wise to be more considered. Wordsworth said that poetry is “emotion recollected in tranquility” perhaps that is the role of a blog too. Don’t apologise for passion and emotion, but find a way to channel it productively to get the results you want.

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