“Stay enrolled in the language school of the Holy Spirit, and He will tutor you in love. Speak love fluently!”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 17, 2021
If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise. 1 Corinthians 13:1, TLB
A recent story grabbed my attention related to the CEO of Air Canada, who had lived in Quebec for 14 years, but at the time of the writing was unable to fluently speak French. With the airline’s headquarters in Montreal, a city and country proud of their mother language, the critics were scathing. It’s insulting. It makes me angry, because [of] his attitude to say ‘I have been in Quebec 14 years and I did not have to learn French, voiced one prominent political leader…Contempt for our language and our culture in Quebec… Not worthy of his duties…expressed the government minister for the French language. It seems, not being fluent in French is a very big deal to one who represents a culture whose native language is at the heart of who they are as proud French-Canadian citizens. A valuable lesson to be learned: immersion into the language of the people shows love and respect for the people.
It made me wonder if after having lived in the Christian culture for many decades, have I become fluent in the language of love? My heart is humbled to think how offensive I could be to those who carry the name of Christ in a manner worthy of their love. Who perceive me as one who lacks love—full of myself and my beliefs. Not to mention those outside the faith, who would be confused and disappointed if I did not communicate love with my actions, attitudes and speech. So, my goal is to grow more in love with God and people. So, my language of love is fluent, easily flowing in and out of people’s lives and situations that are desperate for love. A fluent love is easy not difficult, and its diversity of accents creates an irresistible melody of comfort and peace.
“He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend” (Proverbs 22:11, ESV).
The Apostle Paul, explains in the famous love chapter that words come up empty without the validation of loving actions. My choice of words, the spirit in which I communicate and the actions that accompany my intentions all contribute to me growing fluent in the language of love. Noise and confusion are the language of an unloving culture, while calm and clarity are syllables of citizens seeking to understand and respect others. Love speaks up for the best and builds trust.
Is your language laced with love? Is your life a living epistle of love? Not perfection, but an imperfect follower of Jesus in the process of learning to speak love more fluently. As citizens of God’s Kingdom, we cannot just get by with catchy Christian cliches: bless you, praying for you, or praise the Lord. Cliches come up short in the serious matter of battling sin, comforting others or growing in your deep devotion to Jesus. Move beyond just mouthing words other believers may speak and immerse yourself in a deep abiding love relationship with the Lord. Stay enrolled in the language school of the Holy Spirit, and He will tutor you in love. Speak love fluently!
Heavenly Father, immerse me in your fathomless love, so my heart, mind and deeds will be fluent in the language of love, through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Next time you express a difference of opinion with someone, pause, pray and say loving words that open each other to be influenced, not driven apart by insult.
Lynda Randle: One Day at a Time
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