‘Tain’t What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It)

When I was a kid about half past three
My daddy said, “Son, come here to me”
Says, “Things may come and things may go
But this is one thing you ought to know”
Oh, ’tain’t what you do; it’s the way that you do it
‘Tain’t what you do; it’s the way that you do it
‘Tain’t what you do; it’s the way that you do it
That’s what gets results…
Now this is one of those songs that came into my life when Chelsea and I were enjoying the swing dancing scene with as much free time as we could spare.  (This song is often the music for The Shim Sham Dance Routine… at least when the routine isn’t danced to The Shim Sham Song… but that is another post entirely.)
It reminds me that all too often we think about what we are doing, but not how we are doing it.
We might be sticking up for the little guy (a worthwhile pursuit, to be sure!), but in the act of doing so we end up offending those whom we are trying to help and those who need correction, and in the end nothing gets accomplished.
We might be offering a helping hand (a great way to reflect the way God has offered to help us!), but while doing so we may end up unintentionally communicating to people that they aren’t able to do anything themselves.
We might be speaking truth as loud as we can (it is the truth that will set people free!), but in the end all our yelling doesn’t communicating an ounce of love.
One of the Pastors whose sermons I listen to online is Cor Chmieleski out of Hope Community Church in Minneapolis. (Yes, I did need to look up how to spell Cor’s name…)  He has often used the phrase, “the matter and the manner matter.”   The matter – what you are doing or saying, matters.  The manner – how you are doing or saying what you doing or saying, matters.  Bad matter ends up hurting someone, either you or God or someone else.  Bad manner ends up doing the same.
Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 says this,
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
‘Tain’t what you do; it’s the way that you do it… how are you doing it?

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