Body Language


Where do our gestures and actions arise? Why is the child the father of the man? How much does the child learn from their parents, or genes or somewhere else? How much are people the result of genes, environment or language?

People clearly learn language from their parents primarily and those around them secondarily. Even when a child learns his language from his parents, the language learned comes from the whole of the language of their parents, English, Dutch, or Mandarin. The main vocabulary and grammar of language overrides any permutations of the tongue. While each person has an idiolect and a familialect, almost all of their language is the greater language; the idiolect being a person’s language and vocabulary known only to him and the familialect known within that family only. Genes and environment play a role in forming a person, however, language is what a person is. A person cannot think outside his languages, and therefore, his language almost entirely shapes who he is. A clever person can stretch the boundaries of language and change some vocabulary, but the whole of the language remains constant. All that a person says, or does as well, comes from his language.

Thus, a person becomes his learned language, his basic language learned from early on. As time goes on, a person can gain some control of his language, but of the basic set of grammar and vocabulary, a person must struggle to make his learned language conform to whom he wants to be. However, the nature of language and how the brain handles language gives a person an opportunity to rule his lower language, his basic language. Linguistics shows that the higher language controls the lower language, i.e., the more complex the thought, the more that thought will keep lower thoughts from gaining ascendancy. However counter intuitive, that is actually the way the brain works. The idealism and generosity a person might choose to learn as time goes on control can the basic language of selfishness and self-centeredness. The same is true with body language; violent actions must give way to learned helping actions because that is the higher (body) language.

The highest language comes from God, His Word, His Bible, His deeds. When a person uses God’s language, former sinful ways must give way to Godly ways (body language). In truth, knowledge must always result in action: verbal and physical, whether or not the knowledge is of a higher learned language or a lower unrepented one.

We ought now to separate verbal language from body language to further examine that language, since verbal language makes up only part of the language a person owns, or that owns him. Various sports have their verbal language, jargon, and a language of activities (throwing and catching), body language. Music has its reverberate language with accompanying motions, blowing or fiddling. Farmers have their jargon and motions or activities, body language. Masons have their secret language and codes, and they have their orchestrated activities, body language. Clearly, even as we describe the various kinds of body language above, we use verbal language. Throwing is an action and a word, a verb, which is an action word. What is thrown? A ball: foot, base, basket, tennis and soccer ball. A person knows in his verbal language, even if not able to completely describe it, the feel of the ball — its hardness, amount of air in it and so forth. There are words to describe very accurately the exact feel of a ball, but that vocabulary may be unknown to that person.

Body language and verbal language merge in certain activities: typing, writing, sign language. Writing, obviously, has certain symbols for sounds, accurate or not. These symbols stand for the verbal language. Some computer programs can take the verbal language and type it out as one speaks — a kind of computer programmed stenographer. A third base coach uses sign language, hopefully unknown to the opposing team, to communicate without sounds, but, again, each sign stands for certain words — steal, take the pitch, bunt, and hit and run.

People use their body language, like verbal language, for good, for selfish things, and/or to harm others. Some heal others maim. Some help, others injure. Some give, others take. We can call these activities body language. You must remember that higher body language still controls the lower language of evil and deceit.

The dramatic difference between body language and verbal language is that words are sounds, which can affect a person in several ways: encourage, discourage, educate or deceive, but the sounds have very little effect on a person physically. Whereas, body language can physically affect a person. A blow to a certain section of the neck can kill. On the other hand, a masseur or a chiropractor can relieve pain. Body language can be a powerfully physical part of language.

Aspects of Body Language

An angry mother might put her hands on her hips as she towers over him and then shake a finger at that recalcitrant child. She might also shake her head, and hopefully not the child. A pleased mother might open her arms wide to embrace a child who pleased her. An adamant mother might fold her arms and shake her head, no. An agitated mother might tap her toes or pace back and forth.

A fearful person might cross his arms as if protecting himself. An outgoing person might stand relaxed with his arms at his sides. Books have been written on the subject; so we need not belabor the point.

Facial Language

A person’s face can speak volumes about him, except those who develop a poker face, which also tells us something about him, such as attempting to deceive or hide himself from others. A linguist once said that a person’s face results from a life-long effort to mold it in the image of his whole being from verbal language bubbling from the inner most self, his emotions, and body language culled from his language.

For example, God’s language of love coupled with his expression of love resulted in God’s face shining brighter than any sun imaginable. Furthermore, humans whose works imitate Our Father in Heaven can expect to have a face shining like the sun as well in the resurrection.

2Tim. 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
2Tim. 3:17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Integration of Verbal Language and Body Language

God’s love, the power behinds His Words and Language, gave expression when He formed man from the clay of the earth. His actions of kneeling down on the ground and carefully molding a human being shows consummate love and effort, a Supreme Body Language or the Body Language of the Supreme Being. Those who work with clay or marble have some idea of what exertion it took to make a human being. We know the complexity of the human body, which scientists probably will never be completely understand, as nerve energy interacts with chemicals to make a person who can talk and act in the image of his Creator, or not. Volumes fail to describe adequately the physical human, much less the mind and language capabilities. Ever so delicately and intricately did God transform the materials and energy of the Earth He created into Adam, into us.

Gen. 1:26 ¶ Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Gen. 2:7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Gen. 2:8 The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.

Deut. 3:24 ‘O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours?

Ex. 15:10 “You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them;
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
Ex. 15:11 “Who is like You among the gods, O LORD?
Who is like You, majestic in holiness,
Awesome in praises, working wonders?

Emotions have a strong effect in determining verbal and body language. An angry person might not only shout, but also throw things, like punches. A self seeking person, like Eve, might think that the fruit looks good enough to eat, not kill, and make her wise as well. While not saying anything aloud, her thoughts led her to grasp the fruit and eat. Unschooled and unpracticed in God’s Language, she served baser instincts and disobeyed the Lord God. This began the existence of a baser language incorporated into people’s basic language. Without God’s Language found in His Word, no person could opt out of this deceptive baser language. Furthermore, even readers of God’s Word seldom learn it correctly or completely because of deceptions built into human languages. We all have had the experience of learning or trying to learn another language. Except for the gifted among us, learning a new language is hard; learning new concepts in that language is even harder. The concepts in God’s Language are so far out of the main stream of human thought that often people modify God’s concepts to fit their previously learned concepts. Naturally, as we all know, the Bible can be made to say anything if taken out of context, mistranslate a few words, and misread other passages.

Deut. 1:35 ‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers,
Deut. 1:36 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he has followed the LORD fully.’
Deut. 1:37 “The LORD was angry with me also on your account, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter there.

Psa. 35:10 All my bones will say, “LORD, who is like You,
Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him,
And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?”

Psa. 104:1 ¶ Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD my God, You are very great;
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
Psa. 104:2 Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak,
Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.
Psa. 104:3 He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters;
He makes the clouds His chariot;
He walks upon the wings of the wind;
Psa. 104:4 He makes the winds His messengers,
Flaming fire His ministers.
Psa. 104:5 ¶ He established the earth upon its foundations,
So that it will not totter forever and ever.
Psa. 104:6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
The waters were standing above the mountains.
Psa. 104:7 At Your rebuke they fled,
At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away.
Psa. 104:8 The mountains rose; the valleys sank down
To the place which You established for them.
Psa. 104:9 You set a boundary that they may not pass over,
So that they will not return to cover the earth.
Psa. 104:10 ¶ He sends forth springs in the valleys;
They flow between the mountains;
Psa. 104:11 They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Psa. 104:12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
They lift up their voices among the branches.
Psa. 104:13 He waters the mountains from His upper chambers;
The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works.
Psa. 104:14 ¶ He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
And vegetation for the labor of man,
So that he may bring forth food from the earth,
Psa. 104:15 And wine which makes man’s heart glad,
So that he may make his face glisten with oil,
And food which sustains man’s heart.
Psa. 104:16 The trees of the LORD drink their fill,
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,
Psa. 104:17 Where the birds build their nests,
And the stork, whose home is the fir trees.
Psa. 104:18 ¶ The high mountains are for the wild goats;
The cliffs are a refuge for the shephanim.
Psa. 104:19 He made the moon for the seasons;
The sun knows the place of its setting.
Psa. 104:20 You appoint darkness and it becomes night,
In which all the beasts of the forest prowl about.
Psa. 104:21 The young lions roar after their prey
And seek their food from God.
Psa. 104:22 When the sun rises they withdraw
And lie down in their dens.
Psa. 104:23 Man goes forth to his work
And to his labor until evening.
Psa. 104:24 ¶ O LORD, how many are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your possessions.
Psa. 104:25 There is the sea, great and broad,
In which are swarms without number,
Animals both small and great.
Psa. 104:26 There the ships move along,
And Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it.
Psa. 104:27 ¶ They all wait for You
To give them their food in due season.
Psa. 104:28 You give to them, they gather it up;
You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good.
Psa. 104:29 You hide Your face, they are dismayed;
You take away their spirit, they expire
And return to their dust.
Psa. 104:30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the ground.

Why act the way they do?

Among the various aspects of language, grammar, vocabulary and the like, there exists in the mind, from a person's primal elements, that idiolect which drives a person’s actions. What this primal language does is constantly intrude on a person’s consciousness and reminds a person of what it was like in the “good old days.” Unless a person quickly rejects this wanted or unwanted intrusion, the constant repetition of these old ideas act almost hypnotically, you are getting sleepy. More likely the repetition of ideas will cause a person to respond to the appropriate behavior, not necessarily good, such as blurting out something hurtful or harmful, or worse still committing an act of violence, perversion or something sinful. James says we will do whatever we think about, good and bad. So we control our actions by what we allow ourselves to think about.

A believer, for example, will keep the Sabbath holy because he knows that it is the only day God made holy. However, a non-believer will keep another day because that is what he thinks is right. Therefore, when we renew our minds with God’s Word, that contemplation causes us into Godly actions. Paul says think on these for that reason; it builds faith and motivates good deeds.

James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
James 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
James 1:15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

A person who cannot make up his mind cannot control his actions; the popular ideas, circumstance and whatever pops into his mind determines what he will do. He is completely undependable.

James 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
James 1:8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
What a person dwells on is what he will do.

Change the Subject

A most amazing thing occurs when a person walks in the Way of the Lord based on His Language, His Word. Just like the higher language controls the baser language, the higher Ways overtake an individual in such a way that the old habits deeply ingrained lose their power over one. There is no explanation, only the realization the road to freedom from the slavery of evil goes far from the old rutted stinking byways.

Eph. 4:25Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.
Eph. 4:26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
Eph. 4:27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.
Eph. 4:28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.
Eph. 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Eph. 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Eph. 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Eph. 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Eph. 5:1 ¶ Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
Eph. 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Body language completes and solidifies the verbal language. Without body language, one has not really learned the language of man, or more importantly of God. Using God’s Body language, i.e., His Way of life, consigns the baser language of evil and deception to the waste heap.

God Bless,

Gil Kovacs