Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Loudmouth

I've had a reputation throughout my life for being a loudmouth. That doesn't mean I've always been talkative, because I know in high school I went through several periods of moody, quiet reservation. It's just that when I did talk, it was often in a rather loud and inappropriate fashion. For that matter, it still is.

There isn't much of a filter when it comes to the things I say. If I think it, I say it, and tempering my words can be a bit of a hassle to me. Obviously, no one here would really know this, because the blogging format of communication allows me to edit everything I say to make it sound tasteful and as un-offensive as possible. In life, though, my loose lips have gotten me into trouble. Like I've written before, I was quite the vindictive gossip in high school. A lot of that was because I had a very un-Christian dislike for certain people and I wore that on my sleeve. As Kurt theorized in a comment to that post, that was very likely due to the fact that I was deeply closeted and created countless mini-dramas to avoid real conflict in my life.

But now I'm out of the closet completely, and though I wouldn't say I'm a gossip anymore, I'm still a chatterbox who needs to learn to shut up every now and then. Since my way of talking is so closely tied with my way of thinking, it's been an interesting way to keep tabs of how my thoughts have evolved over time. I don't say things that are intentionally rude to people... I just have a habit of saying very naive things that people take offensively. If that makes sense.

Usually, this is okay. It becomes a joke to my friends and family. "There goes Jay, thinking out loud again." The last job I worked at had a quote board, where the staff could write down funny conversations or one-liners that had happened during the day. By the end of the job, I had a very disproportionate amount of quotes on the quote board... not because I intentionally try to be funny, but because my mouth just creates a lot of awkward situations that are best handled humorously.

There are some benefits to being a loudmouth. I value transparency and honesty among believers, and unfortunately that's hard to come by. Not with me, it isn't! I mean, not to say that I'm the most transparent person out there, but I certainly do wear my heart on my sleeve and I'm not afraid to tell people my views. That's part of the reason I "came out" a lot earlier than most Christian guys do. I first told a close friend at 17, and by 19 I was out to friends and family alike. That's helped me, I think. Although I think people should be aware of their surroundings and mindful of others, I also think that at some point one has to not care what others will think and just speak their mind. Someone who struggles with homosexuality has no hope for contentment if he or she doesn't feel free to share their experiences with other believers. It's awkward, yes, but by now I'm so used to awkwardness that it just rolls off my back.

So there's the balance I'm going for. I want to be transparent and open about my views, struggles, joys, needs, wants, etc. But I don't want to be such a chatterbox that I neglect to listen to others, or I accidentally offend them needlessly. I want to drive out speech that could bring others down, but while still keeping my hyperactive talking habit. It's not that I talk too much, it's that I need to talk about the right things. If as a loudmouth I boldly proclaim Christ, my love for Him, and my love for others (friend, family, or foe), then yay to being a loudmouth!

7 comments:

kurt_t said...

Maybe a little OT, Jay, but do you really consider yourself "someone who struggles with homosexuality"?

You don't really sound like that's something that's causing a lot of conflict in your life.

Jay said...

It's not, really. That's one of those awkward terms that I wrote about a few posts ago. It does make it sound like it's a big point of concern in my life, and it really isn't (thank God).

I guess you could say it's shorthand for "guys who think homosex is a sin but are same-sex attracted anyway." That can refer to guys who take the Side B path like myself or others who take the more "ex-gay" route, and I was referencing both in the post.

Not OT at all, by the way. There's no such thing as OT on my blog. :)

Brandon said...

I love this post. The fact that you are transparent about being transparent (aka: a loudmouth) has it's own little humorous quality about it.

I know what you mean though. Sometimes I have to really guard myself against what I say as well. I tend to blurt out things I know I shouldn't say. Gossip is something I really try hard not to do, but I find myself doing that ever once in a while. My real problem though is my language. I have a hard time keeping myself from cussing around certain people or settings. About that, I found it funny you should mention being quoted for your sayings. In trying to guard my language, I can sometimes come across with just some of the most random, whimsical expressions. Some of the guys I work with seem to get amused by that at times.

Anyway, I just liked this post. And I think you're right about us needing to use our speech abilities for good rather than bad.

MR said...

I tend to be talkative, especially if I have had too much coffee. My co-workers used to ask me how many cups of coffee I had that day. Later I found out they were keeping records! Someone actually posted a graph on the wall with my name at the top. The x-axis was the number of cups of coffee and the y-axis was my words per minute. It was exponential!

donsands said...

"I'm still a chatterbox who needs to learn to shut up every now and then."

That's me. It's good to know our sinful leanings, and put them on the table.

I see our Lord Jesus in you, and working through you.

It's asking the Father for the Holy Spirit every day that will help us be light and salt for His glory. Jesus told us to do so. And he taught us to pray, and Luke wrote it down for us to read, study, and ponder.
The more we pray to the Father in His Sons name, the more we shall overcome, so that God is honored in our words and deeds.

it's all about Christ. He's beyond awesome. Jesus is what heaven is all about.
An old saint said said, "If I die and go to heaven, and Jesus is not there, then this shall be hell. However, if I die, and then go to hell, and Jesus is there, then this shall be heaven."

donsands said...

Whoops, the Luke passage is 18:1-8. Good, and deep, words to ponder.

Jay said...

Sorry I didn't get around to responding to these! I must have forgotten!

Brandon: I've never felt that cussing was a sin, since it's the surrounding culture that decides what language is or is not offensive, and God would never allow his creatures to define a sin (that's His job). Still, I try not to do it because it shows a certain lack of class that might not represent me very well as a Christian.

MR: See, that's the kind of thing that happens to me. It sounds really funny. I don't drink coffee (or soda, or anything with caffiene, really). I don't know how bad off I would be loudmouth-wise if I did.

Donsands: Great to see you here! Thank you for the words of encouragement. I don't mind being a chatterbox (I'm not a fan of the idea that men should be "quiet and mysterious"). I just want to make sure that I am equally someone who knows how to listen as well as talk, and who can be there for others. Thank you for the Scripture, and God bless.