This is a period.

period

I misuse it more than I care to admit.

I don’t misuse the period grammatically. After teaching English for ten years I know to put a period at the end of a declarative sentence.

But I misuse the period in conversation.   Jesus taught in Matthew 5:37,

But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

In other words, just answer the question and be quiet. Period.  Anything you try to explain after your “yes” or “no” is going to get you in trouble. For me, I use another application. I’m having to learn to say what I mean as briefly and as succinctly as I can, put a period at the end of it and let it be. When I try to explain myself or defend my answer (everything I say after the period) I set myself up to un-clarify what I was trying to clarify in my original thought.

This happens to me and Marie too often. She’ll ask a yes or no question and I’ll come back with a 250-word essay. Besides Matthew 5:37 I’m now laser focused on James 1:19-20,

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

I’m dwelling on the “quick to listen” part first. My problem lots of times is when I listen, I’m already thinking about what my retort will be. I’ve got to get the “quick to listen” part down before I even think about tackling slow to speak. Because I’m not. Sometimes being “quick to speak” instead of “slow to speak” triggers angry replies I regret later.

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2 thoughts on “This is a period.

  1. Steve, that’s always been my problem, too. I’ve had that comment from everyone from my wife to my former boss. Instad of listening, I’m contemplating when I can jump in and get my two cents worth in. (sigh!)

    Like

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