Do you have a secret language?

Recently I’ve gotten to spend more time with United Methodist pastors. We’re an interesting group. Our hearts are in the right place. We care a great deal for helping people grow closer to God. But I’ve noticed something about this people group that’s true about all other people groups.

We have a secret language. And we enjoy it.

If you spend time with airline pilots, scientists, computer techs, teachers, doctors, engineers, politicians, etc. you might feel left out as soon as they start talking about their industry.

There’s something about having knowledge that others don’t that makes us feel good about ourselves.

But there’s also something about humility. I deeply admire people who have a lot of knowledge and experience in a field, but you wouldn’t know it by hearing them. They care more about who they’re talking with.

It drives me CRAZY when someone feels left out.

Ever since jr. high and high school, I can’t stand when someone is standing around looking confused or lonely. I’ll do anything I can to draw them into the conversation. I love helping community to form. The moment someone feels the belong is powerful. Someone cares about them.

Do we care more about us belonging?

Or about others feeling welcomed, comfortable and included?

2 Replies to “Do you have a secret language?”

  1. Jargon is not a bad thing. It is the verbal abbreviation that allows ease of communication. The problem with jargon is when one uses it inappropriately. To speak five words that can be understood is far better than to use one word that leaves listeners mystified. The rub is that one can get so used to the language of jargon as to suppose that it is a common rather than specialized vocabulary… a little like Paul’s “unknown tongue.” Maybe the answer is akin to what occurred when the Old Testament was translated into Greek, i.e., maybe some of the jargon which we find so comfortable needs to be updated into a vocabulary that is user friendly for those we seek to reach for Christ.

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  2. Great observation. I do see the positive and negative of industry jargon. This post was in response to a situation where a pastor spoke in a way that made others feel excluded. I hope we all can be more aware of this issue. Thanks for sharing your perspective!

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