Friday, May 8, 2009

Say it like you mean it

I attended a wedding recently where the officiating clergyman challenged both the couple and the congregation during the course of the ceremony. After confirming the intent of marriage with the couple, he prompted the congregation that his next charge of commitment would be directed to them. He added that, when prompted to answer his charge, "Say it like you mean it."

How often do we say something without really meaning it?
  • "I'm here for you."
  • "I'm praying for you."
  • "I'm behind you, buddy."
  • "I do."

How often do couples stand at the altar during a wedding ceremony and pledge "till death do us part" when they really mean "until things get tough"? The officiant did a great job in this ceremony of spelling out what "till death do us part" really means. In so many words, he said it's not just when my business plan works out just as I thought it would and my career is on the right track but also when life throws us a curve ball and that career path is not so straight. It's not just when we're living in a big house at a prestigious address but also when circumstances are challenging and we're living in a single-wide mobile home in a less desirable location.

There were a lot of people that needed to hear that message other than the couple standing at the altar on Saturday. The pews were full of people like me who don't always say what we mean and mean what we say. I hope that others heard the same message that I heard and were, like me, convicted by it's broad and deep truth.

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