Photography by Matt Wyatt

Subtle Messages

There is an underlying message we send in our actions and words; a subtle reflection of our hearts between the lines. This isn’t a new or original thought, but something we should always keep in mind. It is something I was humbly reminded of this morning.

On Monday I purchased a new Bible on Amazon. I have Amazon Prime, so two-day shipping is free and according to the fine print, it’s guaranteed. Well, it isn’t going to be here tomorrow. No, it’s going to be here (gasp) Thursday, one day late. It just so happens that I woke up this morning feeling entitled. I contacted customer service to see what kind of freebie I could get. It seems most companies these days bend over backwards to please their patrons, so I knew I’d get something.

An hour or two later I received an email written in broken-English from Swapna. A quick Google search will tell you that one of Amazon’s main customer service hub’s in located in India. Swapna apologized profusely for the delay and offered me to place my next order with free 1-day shipping which he promised would meet my expectations.

What he didn’t say is what he thought about the message behind my actions; I can only imagine! Here I was complaining out of all the things I could have ordered, a Bible! It’s filled with verses such as “Fools give full vent to their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back” Proverbs 29:11. Indeed, I would have been wise to remain quiet and to put it bluntly, get over myself. Because of my first-world problem there is now quite possibly a guy in India to whom I have given Christianity a bad name. For him, my subtle message may have made a connection between the Bible and people who are conceited. Even more sobering is the fact that it’s not just any Bible, it is a Life Application Study Bible- Lord help me to apply your word to my life way better than I am now!

This week I want to challenge you to think about the subtle messages you are sending. Subtle messages are often revealed in the way we prioritize and the things we are the loudest about. Are your meta-messages bringing light and hope to the world or are they saying something else?


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