This article originally published in the January 2009 issue of groundswell.

My heart wants you to know that I “get” you.  I want so much to show you that I care for you.  I do this by trying to show this by anticipating your words, your expressions.  I am an interruptor.

My desire to show a person that I understand them gets jumbled up.  I do not mean disrespect.  More and more, I notice that interrupting is a lot like telling someone to be quiet–that my understanding of you is somehow more important than your own expression of you.  How twisted is that?!?

I am an interruptor.  And I apologize.

Though the deep down desire of my heart is not to hear my own voice, the end result is cutting people off.  That stinks.

I recognize the pattern.  I want to change.  There is good news and bad news.  Let’s start with the bad:

“But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.” –James 3:8

Well, that doesn’t bode well.  My desire is to tame my tongue.  If no one can do it, what can I do?

Though the tongue is an instrument of my interruptions, it is not the root of my problem.  That is the good news.

If life and death are in the power of the tongue, my interruptions steal the life from someone’s expression.

I must think more highly of others so often that my tongue eventually will follow suit.  I must love the person I am listening to so much that I value the words coming out of their mouth more than I want to show them I love them.  So profound in its simplicity!  So if I cannot tame my tongue, maybe a change of heart will solve the problem.  After all,

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” –Philippians 4:13

photo by Emilien Auneau

Throwbacks are all about bringing in previously-published articles.  These articles appeared back when groundswell was published in the form of an email newsletter.  The photos are newly added to the blog.

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