Do You Misunderstand While Speaking the Same Language?


Have you ever noticed that people who speak the same language are often speaking a different language?

For example, there is preacher language. For normal people, “just five more minutes, please,” means five more minutes, 300 seconds. For your pastor, five more minutes means … well it could mean a lot of things, but be sure of one thing. It’s never less than five minutes.

When preachers speak we love to say, “In conclusion,” or “I’ve got to hurry.” Roughly interpreted that means, “If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.” People wake up when I say, “In conclusion.” It makes them so happy that I conclude a lot when I’m preaching. I like to make people happy.

I’ve also found that you can honestly say, “For my last point,” and keep going a long time. You don’t have to tell them that there are fifteen sub points under that last point. And after that there are some more conclusions.

Once though, when I was visiting a church the pastor told me that their church was going to make a generous contribution to our missionary ministry, but there was a catch. “We’ve got a special speaker today and time is limited so you can’t go over five minutes in your missions presentation. For every minute you go over we subtract part of the missionary offering.” (I think he was kidding).

I reflected on that. “So, if I go under five minutes will you add to the offering for every minute?” I asked. (At the end he was even MORE generous than he promised he would be and I wasn’t much over five minutes).

Wives Also Speak Another Language

When wives say, “Do you like my dress?” you need a translator. In man language that means, “Do you like my dress?” In woman language that means, “I want you to tell me how attractive I am. If I didn’t think the dress was pretty I wouldn’t have bought it!”

Oh. (My wife translated that for me)

Sometimes I see Christians on television being interviewed. They try to explain something about the Kingdom of God to a non-believing audience and frankly they come off as kind of crazy. I understand that.

“The preaching of the cross is, I know, nonsense to those who are involved in this dying world, but to us who are being saved from that death it is nothing less than the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18, Phillips)

As a Christian we’re in this world just like everyone else. But, we’re not “of” this world.

I have an acquaintance who is a diplomat in France sent from an African country. The territory that his embassy occupies is counted as the territory of the government which sent him, even though he’s in France.

You and I are citizens and ambassadors of a heavenly country. The rules are different. We “see” things that others don’t and people think we’re strange. We have some wonderful blessings in this life, but that’s not what our goal is.

We aiming for eternal rewards. We’ve based our life on Someone who those who don’t believe can’t see. They think we’re resting our hopes on thin air. I’m convinced that my hope in Christ Jesus is rock-solid.

That’s why we seem a bit weird to those who don’t follow the Lord. We live our lives based on His Word, we get refreshed by an Invisible Person when we pray and praise. Our goals and dreams land in the life beyond this life.

And when we talk about it, it seems like another language to those who don’t love the Lord. But, when a man puts His faith in Jesus, suddenly He understands the language of the family!

“It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the summons to go out to a place which he would eventually possess, and he set out in complete ignorance of his destination. It was faith that kept him journeying like a foreigner through the land of promise, with no more home than the tents which he shared with Isaac and Jacob, co-heirs with him of the promise. For Abraham’s eyes were looking forward to that city with solid foundations of which God himself is both architect and builder.” Heb. 11:8-10, J.B. Phillips

Photo: Flickr, creative commons: David Fulmer Learning sign language_______________________________________________________________________________

Hummm …

“I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those prayers down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer, that we would be unable to get up off our knees, for the rest of our lives.”
Peter Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy, Boston College

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