The Trouble with Texting

Last night, my husband sent a text message to my daughter, "What movie are you going to see?" She sent a reply, but my husband wasn't quite sure of her response, so a little while later, he asked me to text her and ask her what movie she was seeing. When I sent her the same question, she replied i love u man. So I told him, "I Love You Man." He looked at me quizzically and said "Huh? She said the same thing to me." When I informed him that that was the name of the movie, we burst out laughing. He thought that instead of providing the name of the movie, she just told him she loved him, and he couldn't understand why she had called him "man."
And that's the trouble with texting. And not just texting, but with all written forms of communication. One person expresses something in writing, and the reader can "hear" something entirely different. Once Stephanie from my office sent me a text asking if I needed her to come in for morning hours, I responded it's okay. I was surprised when she didn't show up. I meant "It's okay, come in." She thought I meant, "It's okay. I can handle it alone."

I'm always amazed when my daughter will read me some of the text message conversations she's had. She'll read them aloud with such expression, as if the person had actually spoken the words to her, and I'll wonder how she knows what inflections the writer intended. The very same words can even mean different things depending upon how they are spoken.

I apply this same principle when I read the Bible. Sometimes it's easy for our eyes to gloss over the words on the page, especially if they are familiar to us. So I will take a passage and read it aloud putting emphasis on each different word. It's amazing how different the message can be with each new reading. Try it:

For GOD so loved the world, that He gave His only Son...

For God SO loved the world, that He gave His only Son...

For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only Son...

For God so loved the WORLD, that He gave His only Son...

For God so loved the world, that HE gave His only Son...

For God so loved the world, that He GAVE His only Son...

For God so loved the world, that He gave His ONLY Son...

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only SON...

I left out the For, that and His, but you get the idea. You can see how the different emphasis conveys different shades of meaning. It's a great way to liven up your Bible reading.

Here's a few other verses to try.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer. 29:11

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer." Ps. 18:2


I LOVE YOU MAN, oops GIRLS!!

Susan

4 comments:

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

That's cute! I have an eleven year old and I know the teen years will soon be upon me.

Janet said...

Susan,

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy receiving your notes. You have a wonderful, conversational way of writing and the text always brings a smile or a thought to ponder for the day.

Thank you for sharing your Gift!

God Bless!

janet

Lauren said...

when you text someone its easy to read their text with expressions because you know exactly how they meant it. when people dont text as much i feel like the texts are more on a factual basis. the same thing can be related to God. the more we text, or read the Bible, the easier it is to see the expression, and know what His will is. if we dont read as much, we can still say we are Christians but its more of a factual basis instead of a relationship in which we delve into expressing ourselves with the love we have for our Lord and Savior
Lo

Maria said...

That was good.
The only reason I knew the movie title was because of my nephew Nikos who is almost 14 (in May) and over 6' tall.

Maria