Those involved in the field of graphology (handwriting analysis) say that how a person crafts letters and words can indicate as many as 5000 personality traits. If when you write in cursive and your writing slants to the right, you tend to be open and like to socialize. If your writing slants to the left you like to work alone or behind the scenes. If you are right-handed and your handwriting slants to the left you may be expressing rebellion. If your writing does not slant at all you tend to be logical and practical and are guarded with your emotions.
There are some difficult facts to face in life, but integrity in our walk and work for Christ helps us face them and that same integrity gives us the courage not to be intimidated by difficult moments. This is in part why Paul was inspired to write what he did in Ephesians 5:15: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.”
It is the duty of those following Christ to seek to exercise an influence for God in this world and yet remain separate from it in soul and spirit. By the way we live we are to effectively correct that which is wrong while at the same time attract the victims of that which is inappropriate out of the shadows. However, in order to do that we must be more than vocally convincing; we must be consistent (Ephesians. 5:8).
The word “circumspectly,” used in verse 15, easily translates to accurately. “See then that ye walk accurately.” There is a gauge by which we must calibrate the way that we live. Our walk must not be generalized, it must be detailed. We can only be true followers of Christ if every detail of our lives are subject to measurement.
Graphologists advise that one would work to improve their handwriting, meaning its ability to be read by someone else, there are five things that need to be done. This has extensive spiritual application as well.
1. Quality and the correct grip always go together. We have to learn balance between control and flexibility. The quality of our walk will always be displayed in how it efficiently fits into all details of our life.
2. Alignment requires a guide. When you write, if your lines angle one way or the other, use an index card to keep your lines straight. We are to use God’s Word as our only guide to keeping things aligned and straight in our lives. Like tires on a car, if we are out of spiritual alignment, we will wear out quickly.
3. Slant is a relatively easy adjustment to make. To adjust for too much slant when writing, adjust the paper to compensate. In reference to our walk, we need to make some personal adjustments in our preferences. Our life of witness will be seen in the consistency that we establish between our convictions and our preferences.
4. Spacing makes what we write readable. This relates to consistency in what we present to the rest of the world. We achieve harmony and flow through practice or what could be called self-discipline. There is no promise that grace will do the work of self-discipline.
5. Letter formation relates to our dedication to accuracy. In writing, everyone has a letter or two that gets mangled. We must make sure that we are steadily progressing toward full manifestation of Christ in our lives. It is dangerous to assume too much relating to the accuracy of our walk.
We should take note of our impact on others. We walk a “straight line” because that is the trail we follow and because we are aware that others follow us. God first, others second and then our own issues are solved. We must able to walk accurately or else we wouldn’t be told to “See then” that we do. Such a life is a note worth writing and reading.
Dr. M. Hildon Guy is the President of the University of Christian Studies and Seminary in Eagle River.