Wow! It’s day two of my life as a blogger. I was so excited that I tossed and turned all night long. After my tennis match today, I couldn’t wait to share my good news with my tennis friends at lunch. Jumping in at the slightest pause in the conversation, I announced, “Guess what, I have a blog!” Surprisingly they actually seemed interested as I shared a bit about it. They even asked questions. Then it hit me, wouldn’t this be a great way to share my story and in turn the Good News without being preachy or self-righteous (because I am definitely not a street corner evangelizer kind of person.)
My thoughts today focus on words. Big words. Words with lots of syllables. Words that “educated” Christians use like: justification, sanctification, redemption, exaltation, propitiation, anointing, predestination, condemnation, predetermination, dispensational, tribulation and on, and on.
I think that the average person (including many church-goers) don’t have the slightest idea what any of these words really mean. Sometimes it seems that all of these fancy word and phrases make Christianity a club with its own special language. And the more mature, spiritual, educated one claims to be, the more syllables pepper their conversations. I admit I am occasionally guilty of doing this as well. Honestly, I don’t think it’s deliberate, we just forget these aren’t familiar words.
But what impression does our puffed-up talk give non-believers, seekers and new believers? It seems pretty obvious that it’s off-putting and exclusive. My guess (because I spent way more of my life as a non-Christian than a Christian) is that it turns people off. It smacks of hypocrisy. And it makes people feel inadequate (even angry). Worst of all, it makes it seem like you need credentials and an education to become a “good” Christian.
Aren’t we commanded to reach out to everyone around us, not just those who talk and think like us?
Jesus certainly did this.
He didn’t get caught up in with His stature or intelligence. Time after time he reached out to those the educated “establishment” said were not worthy. Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” When he preached and taught, He didn’t use fancy language. He spoke the truth, plain and simple. (Although, sometimes it was (and still is) hard to understand.)
We need to speak so everyone can hear Jesus.
So, I vow to follow Jesus’ lead and keep the syllables to a minimum. What a wonderful treasure chest of life-giving (and life-saving) words await. Words like grace, love, hope, joy, peace, faith, repent, healing, sin, mercy, forgiveness, eternity.
I can’t wait to get started!