It’s the name that I’m copyrighting for the brief interpersonal format that I frequently use in composing blogs. I didn’t copy write the word “Nouthetic” when I coined it and, ever since, all sorts  of wild things, using that tag but having little or no resemblance to what I intended by the term, have appeared under that label on the internet and elsewhere. So I hope to preserve the purity of the term DIABLOG.Let me give you an example. . .

“It seems to frustrate you when people misuse the word “nouthetic” incorrectly, I gather.”

Yeah!  I mean, “No!”

“Which is it?”

It’s not all that easy to explain.  But let me try. To do so will itself illustrate my point. You see, our language is filled with blame-shifting words and constructions. The situation is so bad that it’s hard to speak without using them. As sinners, we’ve discovered all sorts of ways of excusing ourselves from our sin by our language. That’s what I did when I almost agreed that the wrong use of “nouthetic” frustrates me.

“I still don’t get it.”

OK.  Take the expression that I nearly slipped into until I corrected myself.

“Which one?”

The phrase that you said: “It seems to frustrate you when . . .”  In that phrase the “it”— whatever it might refer to— doesn’t really frustrate me at all. There’s no way that an “it” can do so. Such an “it” doesn’t even exist.

“Ah! I see, now—it’s people who frustrate you.”

No. No. No! You still don’t get it. People don’t frustrate me. People do things that I don’t like—things that they could do sooner, or better, and so on.  But they can’t frustrate me. I frustrate myself! I don’t have to become frustrated at all. I could learn to handle the situation differently—in a way that pleases God. Instead, I have learned to use blame-shifting language to sinfully describe an irritation that I don’t like.

“Oh!  . . . .But wait a  minute.  How about the passage that tells fathers not to “exasperate” their children? Sounds like I could do that.”

Not really.


You see, what the verse means is that we must not do things that might tempt them to become exasperated.  The father would be wrong if he did such things, but the child would also be wrong to become exasperated over his father’s words or actions.

“Why, if we began to speak in the way you suggest it would revolutionize our language!”

Right. We Christians ought to try as much as possible to do so. Especially when explaining things in counseling.

“You mean that Christians ought to speak in a different language?”

No. It would be the same basic language—Christianized. As often as we preach and counsel we ought to attempt to do our best to be as accurate as possible.

“Tough to pull it off.”

Sure.  We will constantly find ourselves needing to correct what we say or how we say it. But the truth isn’t always easy.

“Hmmmm . . .  . Thanks for diablogging with me”

Enjoyed it!


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