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Everyday Spirituality

Elmore Leonard (1925-2013), author with bestselling books, gives 10 tricks for good writing. One of the tricks is to “use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.” In other words, keep the writing free of religious, medical, psychological jargon.

I look at the Bible and wonder if its writers applied the same trick. Minus the flowery patter in the King James Version, most Bibles use language suitable to a broad range of speakers and readers. Distinctive idioms are used sparingly.

This says two things: Elmore Leonard wasn’t the first person to learn the trick to use jargon sparingly. And, I can use the jargon I am familiar with when I am praying a prayer based on a spiritual truth read in the Bible.

writingThe Gospels were written decades after Jesus ascended, therefore, personal quotes were never taken from Christ Jesus. So, Jesus very well could have spoken words not written in the Bible. Experimenting with this, I began praying with a language familiar to me.

I don’t just repeat the words from the Bible. I focus on a spiritual truth and put it in my own words.

I found my prayers are more effective when I use my jargon. And sometimes, my lingo can get brazen.

When I’m talking with other people, I refer back to the trick, and speak in idioms they are familiar with. Communication is much stronger and more productive.

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