Inside Voice Vs. Outside Voice

How strange it is that politics, the actions of others, fascinates me. It is part psychological drama, part intersection of truth and human depravity; it is something important, but it is also something external to myself. It is also possibly the fascination of something I cannot control that galvanizes me to speak. Whether it is just or unjust, it compels word and action.

I think this is a healthy thing – the external – for it prevents us from sinking into the introspective morass where our own thoughts, concerns, desires, worries, and self-analayzation consume us. The interior world is a place which allows rest and creation, but it can also be a squalid hideaway where you spend your time avoiding externality and refusing to engage with it. As a result, I have a dim view of people who celebrate the inward relating whether of themselves to themselves or of God to man, to the exclusion of the outward. James said that he would show people his faith by his actions, and that is valid – inward and outward must correspond.

I have always thought that the reason by writing works for so many is that it allows the story, the characters, the world, to be born inside and then brought outside. Only writing gives you an effective window into the thoughts of characters. Most other forms of art, but especially visual media, is so obsessed with appearance that the internal dialog is rarely attempted, and when attempted, it is even more rarely still, done well. Thus the TV, the movie, the screen, lies, for it says that internal worlds – those of thought and emotion – only exist in what they manifest. Yet so much happens within me that I do not express and which no-one but God knows.

Yet the internal and the external differ in another way as well – the tone and the voice we use. Inside, I am free to show my emotion without restraint, but outside, I must temper myself. I must use the gifts of the Spirit to a greater degree, for others are not as resilient to my voice as I am. They are worth protecting. They must be nurtured, and so the outside voice must be full of mercy, kindness, and gentleness. It should not scorn (except in rare occasions). I need to remember this; it is easy, I think for those accustomed to interior dialog to forget to consider others and their inclinations, preferences, and composition. To some, this may look like selfishness, but it is more like sloth. A failure to consider is a failure to love, and a failure to love is a failing indeed.

In a sense, I admire extroverts. I think their lives are less complicated internally, but I also suspect their lives are less rich; never fear, they create drama all around them when they are bored, while introverts have the drama within (the “mental hum”), although how much of that is purposeful and how much of that is inborn, I wonder. Nevertheless, tendencies can be fed or abated, and it is up to us to fill ourselves up with good things and to not satiate the evil tendencies. That is our responsibility.

So we are of two tongues, two worlds, and two faces, but one soul. God is mysterious and awesome and beyond finding out!

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One Response to Inside Voice Vs. Outside Voice

  1. Pingback: Inside Voice Vs. Outside Voice | Christians Anonymous

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