Thursday, January 26, 2012

Talk, Texts, and Powerful Tongues

Sometimes small talk is all we can manage, sometimes small talk is a cop-out for meaningful conversation.  I think mostly, people speak lightly because they are afraid of what others will think of their strongest ideas emotions, and beliefs.  Whatever the reason, I cannot help but dislike the transient, shallow nature of small talk.  I would prefer being controversial to being forgettable, or even worse, trite.
    Many conversations have been reduced to fluffy tweets, minimalistic texts, and superfluous status updates.  Most people now subconsciously prefer funny people to thoughtful people.  Our culture has idolized entertainment, and “big talk” has thus been labeled boring, controversial, intolerant, and narrow-minded. 
    Perhaps I am not being fair.  After all, to always speak meaningfully would be out of place, especially while forging a new friendship.  To always speak passionately would be too personal, too vulnerable.  One might promptly be rejected.  Yet, perhaps it would be the more honest, direct route.  How often do we find ourselves clashing in opinion or belief with a new acquaintance of ours, only to realize that we can never be really close to that person?  Maybe the world would be a better place if we all said what we really meant to say…if we were more original.  More concise.  Cut out the verbiage, and spent more time pondering than we do blabbing.

    I am not saying that we should send all the funny, lighthearted people to No Man’s Land, and I would be a hypocrite if I claimed to never speak small talk.  What I would like to see and hear are words with more artistic integrity, depth, purpose, and passion.  I think most people want this, but don’t know how to obtain it.   I think the responsibility lies with the individual.  If we start with ourselves, we can bring meaning back into the average conversation.  We can choose to speak words of life to a hurting person instead of joking with them.  We can share our beliefs with others when we would rather be quiet.  We can be the change we want to see in the world.

   I should know better than to label all small talk as shallow talk.  Not everyone wants to spill the contents of their hearts out to others at, say, a family gathering, a party, a funeral.  Oftentimes in such settings, it is entirely appropriate to speak lightly, and allow loving glances, gentle hugs, and soothing words be the instruments of human communication.  Sometimes small talk is all we can manage because no meaningful words would be appropriate.  Sometimes we need empty words because eyes are filled with more meaning than can be rightly accounted for, or because our hearts are full of love or pain

    Still, no excuse in the world can be made for small talk between two good friends, or meaningless chatter between a father and his wayward son.  If we are supposed to love people as Jesus commands us to do, it is our duty to speak words of life and purpose to those we care about.  Proverbs 8:21 declares that “death and life are in the power of the tongue…” That makes us highly responsible for the words that we release.  We must choose to live with purpose in both the way that we walk and talk. Let us strive to make the most of our words. 


  1. Hey, Megs! This is so good! Words have the power of life and death and to think that we could save a life with our words it rather provoking! I really appreciate what you wrote about. We, I, can definitely learn to use my words in a more blissful way. I have the intelligence and heart to share my thoughts and emotions, to be REAL…. SO what's holding me back? I guess that's a reality check we all have to ask ourselves…. Anyway. I love you immeasurably, Joy, and am encouraged by YOUR WORDS! Please keep compelling me to use them!


  2. Oh, I forgot to mention that I love the original artwork! It adds such depth to your blog!

  3. Love the video! So sad, funny, but SO true!

  4. This might be one of my favorites. I just love every word of it and it's one of my "soap boxes" that friendships are oftentimes being reduced to simple, meaningless texts and tweets. I miss the days before caller ID (well, it is useful!) The days when people would answer the phone for a friend and give a few minutes if able. Nothing replaces the voice and the visit! Also, (still on my soap box!) many of our friends and grandmothers, etc. don't have abilities to text, email, etc. and we should get off of ourselves and give a bit of time to visit, call, or pen a letter to these lonely people-possibly widows. Jesus says that true religion is taking care of orphans and widows and widows and older people are so often so lonely... thanks for this timely, challenging, convicting and well written piece! :)

  5. AND, I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the art work about "words" SOOOO beautiful