Friday, October 23, 2009

#51 Accents

Romans 12:2 "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."

I had the awesome privilege to have grown up in the South. Now before anyone gets upset, I know it is an awesome privilege to have grown up anywhere in this great country. But there is just something special about the South as it relates to speed of life. In the South things are viewed at a much slower pace than other places. Some often confuse the slower pace of life and speech in the South to equate to slower thinking, but if my travels have taught me anything it is that there are bright and intelligent people in all corners of this world. The inverse of that is true too, but we won't go there just now.

Being from the South has equipped me with a southern drawl. I say words like "ya'll" and "reckon" and I expect them to be understood by everyone. When we first arrived in Michigan people began to inform me that it was obvious that I was "not from around here". They would tell me, "You must be from the South somewhere." I love to tell people I am from North Carolina. It is almost like getting to go overseas somewhere and having people take notice of your accent. I used to be self-conscious about it, but now I use it as a conversation starter that I might have opportunities to share the gospel with people I meet. I find it fascinating that people from varying parts of the country have different accents. Language is an amazing thing

As Christians we too develop a certain accent so-to-speak. As we spend time with Christ we become more and more like Him. Hopefully, we will begin to speak as Jesus would speak in each situation of life. Hopefully, we will treat people the way that Christ would treat them. The longer we serve Him the more we should understand His will for our lives. But we must realize that each person may be in a different stage of their walk with the Lord. This will give us different spiritual accents. Does this mean that what one person thinks is sin may not be to another? Thankfully, it is the Bible that defines what constitutes sin and not me, and the Bible has standards that dictate the way the Christian is to live their life. Some areas of the Bible are strict principled issues with clear-cut lines of right and wrong, and there are other areas that contain a lot more grey area that many of us are comfortable with. There are certain areas that are growth areas and there areas that we must cease and desist immediately upon coming to Christ.

Ultimately, our goal is to be like Christ in all areas of our lives while we cast off worldliness and anything that seeks to separate us from Jesus. Why not make those steps today? Paul urges us to present ourselves as a living sacrifice that is holy and acceptable unto God while not being conformed to this world (Romans 12:1, 2). I fully believe that if we seek to be like Christ then the things of this world will pale in comparison, and we will be transformed as we behold the glory of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18). While we are all being changed, let us be careful to not poke fun at the spiritual accent of another. Instead, let us seek ways to always speak the truth in love and to not be so quick to judge a fellow believer.

Dear Father God,
I pray that You will teach us to be like Jesus. Teach us to let go of the world and to hold tightly to Christ. Please help our spiritual accent to more clearly reflect that of Christ's as we seek to be more like Him. Please help us to be patient with one another, and show us how to love as You love. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

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