I am writing this blog while waiting for a flight in an airline lounge at London Heathrow Airport. The conversations around me are very interesting. All are taking place in the English language, but most are difficult to understand. There is a man sitting very close to me who is using phrases like ‘business dynamics’ and ‘that will turn the page for us’ and a whole load of other groups of words that to him mean something, but to me are complete gobbledygook. Perhaps this is a new business speak that I need to read up on and even learn? Actually, I can’t be bothered. If he wants to talk to me (which he doesn’t) then he will have to use words I understand (he just said dynamics again).
Which brings me to Christian speak. What do our lives and our words say about us. After all, everything speaks. When people watch us or listen to us, what do they see and hear? Are we people they want to be near, or does the thought of close interaction horrify them? Furthermore, if we had to express our Christian faith in words would anyone understand what we were saying? When Jesus told us to make disciples I don’t think that He expected us to use special words. There is no magic involved, no unique vocabulary. The only thing that is unique is the change that He makes in our lives. Or should I say the change that He should make in our lives. Is my life truly different, or is it just gobbledygook? I love what James has to say on the matter:
19Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
22But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
26If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. (James 1:19-27 NLT)