The Herald Bulletin

July 26, 2013

Verna Davis: When eloquence eludes, try 'talking good'

Verna Davis
The Herald Bulletin

---- — I'm constantly struggling to keep from correcting grammar goofs that pop up in everyday conversations. I cringe when participles dangle, pronouns don't have an antecedent, and subjects and verbs don't agree. But I have to keep reminding myself that what people say is way more important than how they say it.

While grammar gaffes grate on my nerves, mispronounced words have a different effect. They make me laugh. When I hear someone's rough has a leak, I know they mean roof. When I hear someone ask what is playing at the theeater, I know they mean theater. Ask me for a nakin and I will hand you a napkin. And if you oral the hinge on my backdoor, I know you will need use oil to get the job done. But those words will also make me giggle a bit, too.

I remember the time the voice from the box outside my car window said, "Welcome to Booger King. May I help you?" I couldn't answer because I was laughing. But the voice just asked louder, "Welcome to Booger King. May I help you?"

I told the box I wanted a large diet Coke. No sandwiches for me, please. Not here, anyway. I shuddered to think how a sandwich made of kingly boogers would look, let alone how they would taste! (It would do well for B.K. employees to remember that burgers come from cows. Boogers most decidedly do not!)

People often say that they don't tell others about Christ because they "don't talk good." They say they don't know how to speak well and get really nervous. They say they don't know the right words to say. So they leave the evangelism up to those who can "talk good" and know what to say or how to say it.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:19, "But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue." Paul knew what was really needed was the instruction, not fancy words that cry out for interpretation. No churchified words like transgressor, sanctification, justification, redemption, or capitulation. We need only use five words to tell others about Christ: Sin. Sacrifice. Once. For all.

If we know enough to accept Christ as our personal Savior, we know enough to reach out to others. We "talk good" to others when we tell them what Jesus did for us and what we know Jesus can do for them. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord," (Romans 6:23).

So, let's go about "talking good" to others, drawing all people to Christ.

Then we can all sing: "Are you warshed in the blood? In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb? Are your garmitts spotless, are they white as snow? Are you warshed in the blood of the Lamb?"

By the way, (she's asking tongue in cheek), anyone up for a hambooger after church tomorrow?

Verna Davis, author and speaker, writes in Frankton. She can be reached at