My sister tells the story of observing two men attempting to communicate in an Indonesian post office. Although both men were Indonesian, they could not understand one another. While there is a national Indonesian language, which one spoke, the other was only versed in his tribal dialect. As a result, the conversation quickly became stunted and frustrating since neither man knew the other’s dialect.
Speech is an interesting tool God has given man. By its very nature, it is the primary manner in which we communicate. But, there is more to speech than just words, including dialect.
The manner in which one speaks lets the listener know bits and pieces about the speaker. Often by speech it is possible to determine the speaker’s education, if he is a gossip, what part of the world he is from, if he is young or old, if he sees the glass of life as half empty or half full, or if he houses a bitter or thankful spirit.
Experience tells me I don’t often know what my speech sounds like until I am asked if I am worried, upset, or even angry, based on what I have been saying. With that in mind, the Apostle Paul encourages us to be aware and make some changes in our dialect. He writes, in Ephesians 5:4: “Though some tongues love the taste of gossip, those who follow Jesus have better uses for language than that. Don’t talk dirty or silly. That kind of talk doesn’t fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect.” (The Message)
Thanksgiving is an accurate reflection of a heart in tune with Jesus. If I am thankful, I am aware of so many things about my Lord and I am most likely passing them on through my speech. A life filled with Him definitely carries the dialect of thanksgiving!