Whole lotta shoutin’ goin’ on

I’ve never understood shouting. I can count the times on one hand I’ve evershouting shouted. I’m not saying I’m a choir boy (well, as a matter of fact I am–but not a shouting choir boy). I have close family who have been shouters. I’ve known people who were shouters.

Maybe one reason I don’t like shouting is it scares me.  Even now, at 70, when I engage someone shouting or hear someone nearby shouting it scares me. I feel fear creep up my spine and churn my insides.

I had drill sergeants shout at me in the service. I jumped then too. But I did what they were shouting at me to do.

I don’t believe shouting accomplishes anything constructive or positive. If someone shouts to make things better, things seem to get worse. I’ve heard it said that shouting people are releasing pent up anger. Their anger comes with a short fuse. They hold it in for so long, then they’ve got to release it. The uncontrollable urge is to explode into shouting.  I’ve witnessed people switch from laughing and smiling to shouting in a heartbeat.

Jesus didn’t shout. The only time I remember Jesus raising His voice was the day He threw the money changers out of the Temple. Otherwise He was the poster child for composure and gentleness regardless of the circumstances.

Shouting these days seems like a badge of honor for some folks. Everywhere you turn, it seems, folks are shouting. They either rail against something or someone they don’t like; or they feel like they have to shout to be heard. Sad, really. The more they shout, the louder they get, then their message gets distorted and so all their shouting is for not.  Their message becomes, “I’m really mad and I’m going to shout if I want to. Can you hear me now?”Or maybe they just want to see if they can shout louder than the next fella.

As far as I can tell shouting never changes anything. Shouting doesn’t make anything better. Yelling stirs up the pot and it can make everyone around hot and angry.

One study on children showed, “Yelling doesn’t help. Harsh verbal discipline not only isn’t effective, it actually makes things worse and creates potentially long-lasting psychological problems for the children and damages parent-child relationships.

Paul wrote in Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Will you agree with me that all our conversations need more grace? Will that end all the shouting? Probably not. But it might make our conversations with each other a little more pleasant.

1The Damage Yelling Can Do

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