“Bless you!” That’s what my husband said when I sneezed and coughed at the same time tonight.
A sneeze + a simultaneous cough = a snough.
If you pronounce “snough” as if it rhymes with “cough”, that’s how I pronounced it. It’s a made-up word, right? So why would anyone pronounce it any other way than how I mean for it to be pronounced?
Well, if you only look at the “ough” part of the word and have no context, “snough” can also rhyme with other “ough” words: through, though, and tough. (There’s also the strange word, hiccough, pronounced “hiccup”!)
The English language is weird…and context is everything.
Unfortunately, we don’t always look for context before we repeat something we’ve read, heard, or seen–and the topic is usually far more important than a made up word like “snough”. And even if there is context? It might be misleading, so we interpret it the best way we can…but still end up being wrong.
Too often we read something in the news, hear a snippet, or grab on to a headline that we have no (or little) context for…and start repeating it as the absolute truth.
We forward memes that we haven’t fact checked. We share videos or articles that only show part of the originally posted material. We promote inflammatory information, just for the sake of stirring the pot, whether we know it’s true or not.
This is one of the reasons why I have chosen not to share much political stuff on social media. No matter what I share, it can be taken out of context and shared in a way it wasn’t mean to be shared.
If I post an article on a certain policy or politician, some folks might assume that means that I agree with the policy or politician. On the other hand, others might think I disagree with the policy or politician – and start arguments. Without proper context, the reader will probably make the wrong assumption.
I have always been very opinionated; I still am. Matter of fact, I am probably more opinionated than I used to be. However, I’m also learning that if whatever I choose to share isn’t shared in the context of love, then what good does it do?
I don’t care how fabulous my message might be…or how noble my goal. If I don’t share it in love, it’s worthless.
If the context of my message is not soaked in love, why am I even putting it out into the world?
If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing. — I Corinthians 13: 1-3
Soaking something in love doesn’t mean you don’t share the hard things. But even the hardest of things can be received better when they are given in the right context. Medicine goes down much easier with a spoonful of sugar, right? So are words that are seasoned within the context of love.
So when I write things for social media (including this post), I better check the context.
And if it’s not soaked in LOVE (rhymes with dove (the bird), but not dove, past tense of dive), then I better think twice about posting.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.– Ephesians 4:15-16