“Vanity, showing off, is an attitude that reduces spirituality to a worldly thing, which is the worst sin that could be committed in the church.”

Pope Francis

This past week, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal about faith communities during the pandemic in which I was quoted. Between you, me, and the 14,000 other people who receive this email, I was a little disappointed. Not because the article was poorly written or unbalanced, nor because I was quoted out of context. Quite the opposite, I thought the article was well done, the journalist was delightful to speak with about the topic and an absolute professional who called to double check a few things and thank me again for my contribution. My disappointment was because I only had one lousy quote. From all the amazing wisdom I promulgated during our lengthy telephone interview, there was one sentence with one of the words in the sentence being “Netflix.” My ego expected a lot more to be written, given how much I had to say. As I lamented about this incredible tragedy to my better half as we got ready for bed, she finished brushing her teeth and replied, “I usually only retain about a sentence of what you say in most conversations.”

I don’t think it’s any secret that I am a talker. But the experience made me wonder, to whom am I really talking? As a leader, am I saying what needs to be said or what I want to hear? If people can only digest so much, am I calibrating my message for maximum reception or am I expecting them to receive more than the maximum? In my conversations with the Lord, am I superfluous with my rationalizations and excuses, or am I speaking straight from the heart? While He always listens, am I making the most of my word count? This week as we engage in every one of our conversations, what’s the one quote we want the receiver to remember? Prayers that your words leave an impression of Him this week.

by Daniel Cellucci

November 15, 2021

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