Stand Firm/Love Well | What Jesus Showed Us | Speak Their Language
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
Mrs. White slammed the classroom door and sank against the hallway wall, pressing her fingers to her temples. Her principal, Mr. Davis, stopped and gave her a puzzled look. “Something wrong, Mrs. White?” She shook her head and mumbled toward the floor, “I’m beyond frustrated. I have explained the lesson so carefully every day this week, and only one student shows up with her homework. The rest sit there and blink at me like…like zombies. It’s my first year, but I can’t do this anymore.” Mr. Davis glanced through the window and then gave her a curious smile. “You know this is the class of recent immigrants, right? None of them speaks English.” She shot him a startled look. “You’re kidding! No wonder! Oh, that makes all the difference.”
In our eagerness to reach people, we sometimes forget that they don’t speak our language. We pepper our conversation with “Christianese” without realizing our hearers don’t know what we’re talking about. Without the Holy Spirit active in our hearts, none of us can comprehend spiritual truths. Talk of “the blood of the Lamb,” “salvation,” and “eternal life” sounds like Chinese. We cannot understand spiritual truths until our spirits come alive. So when we approach people about Jesus, we are wise to understand our audience. What language do they speak? What life experiences may make them resistant to our message? Are we speaking Christianese? When we recognize that our audience may not speak our language, it makes all the difference.
Final Thought: Spiritual understanding comes only when we speak the language of our audience.
Prayer: Father, Jesus was so good at knowing right where people were coming from. He geared His messages for the particular people He wanted to reach. Help me learn not to speak Christianese to lost people. In His name, Amen.