I grew up believing that people of integrity only said things that were true. I still believe this is true, however, I always go on to add more clarity and definition.
Even at a young age, it was clear me that individual words have many different shapes, sizes, and meaning. Depending on the tones and nuances in one’s voice, the word left the listener with varying sets of impressions. Shifting the body could totally change the meaning and context. Mixing the descriptors used with a word could also reshape the hearing and understanding.
At the time I reacted so strongly to this state of play that I refused to listen to any recorded speeches. I adamantly preferred the written word, because I knew that I was unable to discern how the speaker was manipulating my understanding. I hated being put at a disadvantage.
Along the way I became what I most disliked. Semantics form a game that can be one of the most lethal, blatantly manipulative, and ultimately selfish. The challenge lies in understanding the motive of the one speaking. Is the speaker looking for any edge he can get, like the New York street hustler? Is the motive protection, gain, or perhaps indulgence?
In the end, can you or I trust anyone? Can we be trusted?
“You’ll only hear true and right words from my mouth; not one syllable will be twisted or skewed. You’ll recognize this as true – you with open minds; truth-ready minds will see it at once.” (Proverbs 8.8,9)
In contrast to the conversations I had yesterday, God is willing to be accountable to a very high standard. With stark honesty the benchmark is set high. Can I approach God and others with an open mind? Do I really want to know the truth? Am I ready for what will happen?
I have lived with spin so long it is hard to know what life would be like without working the edge. Today is bright, clear, sunny, and carries a fresh breeze. Sounds like the God I want to know and follow!