The opening sentence held more foreign words to me than an Old Testament genealogy written in the original Hebrew!
1 Corinthians 14:1-40
Reference: v.23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? (NIV Bible)
Explore: The other day I was offered a part-time job rewriting articles for websites. Due to the importance of companies needing regular updated information on their sites they employ people to rewrite articles so they say the same thing but are worded differently. The first article I looked in to was about internet hosting. This is not a subject I know a lot about but I thought I would give it a go. The opening sentence held more foreign words to me than an Old Testament genealogy written in the original Hebrew! I spent one hour trying to break the sentences down so I could understand them enough to reword the article but by the end I was left with only a few paragraphs, and I'm not even sure their content had anything to do with internet hosting. While I am usually a fairly stubborn person I realised that this part-time job was not meant for me.
Application: We only have to flick through the dictionary (or for me, skim through an article on internet hosting) to realise there are many words in our language that we don't understand. While I found the words in the world of internet hosting foreign, I know that many people come into the world of Christianity and feel the exact same way. Words that we use in our churches may have great significance to us but to someone who has just starting exploring faith they may seem like a whole different language. If we are committed to helping all people come in to a closer relationship with God then we need to be mindful of the words that we use.
Prayer: Lord, we all use our words differently. But we would hate it if someone stopped exploring You because our words seemed too foreign to them. Help us to be mindful of others and let nothing stop them from knowing You more. Amen.
If someone who was exploring faith walked in to your church, would they be able to comfortably understand what was being said?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.