Friday, May 16, 2008

Plain Speech

If I don’t address
you plainly with
some insight or truth
or proclamation or
teaching, what help
am I to you?

I Corinthians 14:6 (The Message)

At two and a half years old our daughter had a strong hold on language. As parents we had to be careful what we said around her. Speaking in our parent “code” one day, she confidently declared, “It makes me angry when you talk in a way I don’t understand.” Plain speech is essential to understanding.

Christians sometimes have a tough time talking to each other much less talking to individuals who don’t know Jesus. We find ourselves divided by denominations or “cultures” having developed our own language by which we understand each other. The challenge comes when our “cultures” collide and the language spoken isn’t understood even though the foundation of our faith is exactly the same.

When it comes to talking to individuals who know nothing about Christianity think how confusing our language must be? Plain speech is essential to understanding. If we want our friends to know the Jesus we love we have to speak in a language that they can understand.

Sprinkling the name “Jesus” in one’s conversation doesn’t describe who he is. Telling people, who know nothing of God that “God told me…” doesn’t tell them how one got to the point of hearing God. Quoting Bible verses certainly reveals one’s ability to memorize but does it say anything about what you know about the truth of Scripture? Plain speech is essential to understanding. And it’s harder than it seems.

Jesus, you spoke to each person
in the language they understood.
Give me the gift of
plain speech when I
talk to others about You

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