提筆忘字 (Character Amnesia)

Steven Valadez

I heard a news report a few days ago on something called “Character Amnesia.”  There’s a phenomenon occurring in China and other East Asian countries whereby experienced speakers of Chinese are forgetting how to write down the Chinese characters they knew so well.  It occurs mainly in middle-aged and younger aged people who have switched from writing with a pen to typing and texting.  Because they have gotten used to using keyboards, touch screens, and phones, they have forgotten how to write the beautiful Chinese calligraphy letters they learned as children in school.

One young man who was interviewed said, “We don’t write anything by hand anymore anymore.  All we ever do is sign our name or write our address.  Everything else is on the computer or phone.”

Sometimes, we experience our own version of “Character Amnesia.”  When we face a hard choice, we forget who we are supposed to be and make the easy decision instead of the right decision. 

Titus 2:12 reads, “And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures.  We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God.”

Sometimes, we make the easy choice.  God wants us to turn from godless living, but instead we go toward where He tells us to turn from.  This isn’t so much that we “forgot” what we were supposed to do; we simply decided we didn’t want to do it.  Character is who are, not something we can forget. When we make the wrong choice, it’s because we ignored what we knew and did something else.  The Chinese speakers can’t write the characters because they haven’t practiced.  They don’t do it anymore.  We need to remember to practice making the right choices.  Practice living the way we’re supposed.  Read God’s word and make sure we know what we’re doing, so when the hard decisions need to be made, we’re ready.

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