Speaking Well

For many years I’ve attended our local Baptist church. Yesterday morning, the first Sunday in Advent, was a baptism service.

Karen and Elise were baptised. Their friends and families came. Before their baptisms they told their stories of life and their experiences of faith. Elise is young; Karen is older. Both spoke with sincerity, courage and clarity.

Elise and Karen spoke well.

On Saturday we learnt of the death of 52-year-old Doddie Weir. The ex-Scotland rugby captain was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in 2016. Doddie set up a charity and raised £10m to research a cure and improve the lives of those living with MND. Speaking to students he recently said:

‘Six years later, still fighting, still pushing for that cure, and still winning with every new day. If things don’t go your way, don’t give up. Instead, use your tremendous energy and brains, try again. There’s always a way round, another way to achieve your goals – find it.’

Doddie spoke well.

This morning I read: ‘…we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love…

St Paul on speaking well.

The Greek philosopher Socrates spoke of a ‘triple filter test’. If his students came to him with a piece of information or news he would ask three questions to determine whether it was worth listening to:

  • Is it true? Did it actually happen or is it just a guess, rumour or gossip?
  • Is it good?  Does it benefit me or the other person? Will it make them or me a better person?
  • Is it useful? Is it necessary? By knowing this message, will that person’s life or my life improve?

Socrates on speaking well.

Musing… Speaking well… Elise, Karen, Doddie, Paul, Socrates… speaking truth, goodness, usefulness.

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