"Grammer Slammers"—How You Spell Reflects On Whom You Follow

After a week of headline heartaches from the mass shooting in Roseburg to the biblical proportion flooding in South Carolina, here’s a headline hardly as ponderous. According to USA TODAY the grammar-checking app Grammarly has run some numbers on the presidential candidates from both parties and their supporters who comment on the candidate’s Facebook page. In short Grammarly set out to find out which candidate’s supporters were the most grammatically correct. I.e., how many spelling and/or grammatical errors appear in the online postings of the various candidates’ supporters.

How did Grammarly come up with its numbers? “A sample of comments from each candidate’s Facebook page was taken, and the negative ones filtered out. Grammarly then took a random sample of at least 180 messages from remaining comments and examined them for errors—focusing on things such as misspellings and punctuation” (USA TODAY 10-7-15).

How did everyone fare? According to Grammarly the most mangled English language treatment added up to “12.6 boo-boos per hundred words.” And the most grammatically correct supporters posted responses averaging 3.1 errors per hundred words. And so between 3.1 and 12.6 errors per hundred words you’ll find all the candidates’ supporters spread out. Makes you wonder how you and I would do, doesn’t it?

I’m sure we’d all agree, though, that checking our grammar is hardly a fair way to evaluate a candidate. Why should the way I spell or write reflect on someone I support?

And yet, wasn’t Jesus suggesting as much  in the Sermon on the Mount? “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Because the truth is: how we live our lives—how we comport ourselves in public, in private—very much reflects on our parents, our spouses, our children, our friends, and even our employers—doesn’t it? Then how much more does how we live reflect on the God we love!

“The church of Christ, every individual disciple of the Master, is heaven’s appointed channel for the revelation of God to [others]. . . . The divine love glowing  in the heart, the Christlike harmony manifested in the life, are as a glimpse of heaven granted to men [and women] of the world, that they may appreciate its [His] excellence” (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing 40-41).

And so let your light shine, Jesus invites us, with the glow of divine love, the glow of divine compassion—which is precisely what the disenfranchised and alienated among us need from us more than anything else right now (I’m thinking of what we shared last Sabbath in “The Pugwash Factor”—4). Let your light shine so the world, the hurting, the needy, the lost, the lonely may experience God’s compassionate love through you and thus be drawn to Him.

No app to download—just the daily infilling of Jesus so that little things of life—our words of compassion, our acts of kindness, our gestures of friendship—might leave the strongest impression of all.

For God.

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