I read something in a blog today that caused me to panic.
This particular blog was about writing, communication and social media. The writer was talking about how the summertime was good for planning and making improvements to your media profile. The writer went on to advise;
If you are feeling brave, you may even want to tackle your WiP
I had never seen those initials before. I did not know what WiP was.
I have a love hate relationship with Twitter, I do a bit with Facebook, I have a blog. I have never got into podcasting or vlogging was WiP some new social media platform?
I began to panic.
I felt as though there was a new world out there which I was not part of. In the face of WiP, I was an outsider, excluded. I wanted to find out what was involved in WiP, was there an app? I wanted to get on the inside track and then I could proudly say “I am on Twitter, Facebook, blog and WiP”.
You cannot begin to imagine how foolish and relieved I was when I discovered that WiP stands for Work In Progress. In the context of the blog I was reading summer is a good time to tackle some of the work in progress that has been in the background for a little while.
As I reflected on my folly, I began to think about the importance of the we use.
Our words are powerful. We all know that we can say words that help, heal or hurt and damage but, the language we use has the power to include or exclude too. Sometimes, the language we use helps us to identify those who are part of the “in-crowd” and those who “don’t belong”.
I remember, when I was training for the ministry, hearing a story of a preacher from Victorian times. When he had finished preparing his sermons, he would summon his cook and preach the sermon to her. He did this because, he felt, if his cook could not understand it, it wasn’t worth preaching!
I don’t have a cook, or servants! But, the incident with the blog was a real warning to me about the language that I use. Do the words I use include or, exclude others?
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been preaching from the “Lost and Found” stories in Luke chapter 15;
One day when many tax collectors and other outcasts came to listen to Jesus, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law started grumbling, “This man welcomes outcasts and even eats with them!”
(Luke 15 vs. 1 – 2 Good News Bible)
Jesus then tells them 3 stories to make a point that, with God, there is no such thing as an outcast because, God welcomes all.
I hope our language reflects that!