What Language Do You Speak? // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

A lady went to see her lawyer one day. “I want a divorce!” she declared.

“Why do you want a divorce?” the attorney asked.

“Just do!” came the reply.

“Well, you certainly must have some reason. Does he beat you up?”

“No sir,” came the reply, “I’m up by 6:30 and he sleeps in until 7:00.”

“Perhaps you have a grudge?”

“Yes, sir! We have a two car garage!”

“No! You don’t understand!” the agitated lawyer responded, “What grounds do you have?”

“Well, I believe we own about three acres.”

“Lady, would you please just tell me the problem? What’s the bottom line?”

To this, the lady replied, “We just can’t seem to communicate!”

We human beings are created to communicate. Sometimes we do it well — sometimes poorly, but we are hard-wired to connect with one another.

The word “communicate” has the same root as “communion”. There is a certain “one-ness” that comes with understanding.

Author, Eugene Peterson, says that there are three levels of communication:
Level 1: intimacy and relationship language
Level 2: information language
Level 3: motivation language. Level 1 is our first language. All babies speak it. As a pastor, I’ve noticed that the babies are my very best parishioners. Whenever they come into the room, everybody smiles! Everything about a baby speaks of connectedness and relationship.

Level 2 language is what you hear at the barber shop or the post office: good, practical information. “How ’bout those Packers?” “Nice weather we’re having!”

Level 3 language is about getting results. Coaches, teachers and parents use it a lot. “Stop!” “Eat your beans!” “Speak up!”

Modern society does a pretty good job with Levels 2 and 3. This era is often called, “the information age” and a lot of people make a fine living as “motivational speakers.”

We must never forget our native tongue, however: the language of love and relationship. Level 1 Language brings joy to life. Fluency in our first language fills our lives with richness and love. It knits our hearts together with the other voyagers on life’s journey.

Which language do you most often speak?

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