As children we learnt three ways of behaving. There was home behaviour, school behaviour and street behaviour. As adults we also have three ways of behaving. Image behaviour is one, which includes behaviour based on our jobs, our roles and our outward appearances. Another one is behaviour based on our emotions. Deeper still is our behaviour based on our values, the things that we really think are important and valuable. These values Jesus called ‘Treasures of the Heart’. These can be remembered by the mnemonic TOH. A quick way of discovering our own TOH is to write a list our favourite things and why we like them. Walking, talking and videoing are some of my current activities based on my values of keeping fit and healthy, linking with people, and linking with nature and God.
Thinking of mnemonics, or memory letters, do you have any yourself?
One of my useful ones is CTI. This stands for ‘Can’t Take Information’. In normal conversations we give and take information. Occasionally we notice that a few people can’t take information. Once in a team meeting our leader asked for verbal reports from his team members. As each member gave him good accurate information, he rejected what they had said. Half way through this I noted down CTI. When eventually I was asked to report I replied ‘Nothing to report that hasn’t been said already’.
As well as CTI, also use CTC which to me means ‘Can’t Take Criticism’. This is annoying when it happens in local life. It is frightening when it happens in world leaders and also in politics.
A personal trait is MGI meaning ‘Must Give Information’. I love learning but then I have this tendency to pass on to others what I have learned. I have to remind myself that the treasures of my own heart are not the same as the TOH in other people. A good way of getting on with others is to know their TOHs.
‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ (Jesus in Matthew 6.21)
Revd Gordon Roxby