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Three Questions

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“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”  –Psalm 19:14

Parker Palmer is an author and teacher, who comes from the Quaker tradition. In one of his books I have been rereading recently, he thanks his wife for be a trusted critic and the first reader of everything he writes. When he asked her once what she looks for when she edits, she answered with three questions: Is it worth saying? Is it said clearly? Is it said beautifully?

I have applied these three questions when I am editing my own writing and in my sermon preparation. As I have thought more about these questions, they really are questions we can apply not only to writing, but to our speaking, to our e-mailing, texting, tweeting, blogging, Facebook posting, conversations and any other ways of communicating that we use on a daily basis.

Think of how our communication with one another would be different or what communicating with others would be like if we applied these three questions… Is it worth saying? Is it said clearly? Is it said beautifully?

In this growing season of Lent, as we continue to reflect on our own lives and look deep within ourselves to see where change needs to happen, I invite us to ask ourselves these three questions before we communicate.