“I don’t see how you walk any differently than me. I’ve been watching you all week and I just don’t see it.” It was more of a question than a statement, but I had to sit there for a minute trying to figure out what she was saying. What did she mean? Then it dawned on me, I had been using the phrase “Christian walk” all week and this 3rd grader had no idea what I meant. She thought I was talking about the way we literally walk with two feet as Christians. Oh my goodness, I had unintentionally distracted this girl all week from the saving message of Jesus because I veered off course and used some well-meaning Christian lingo. I began to wonder how many other little summer campers I had distracted. Being a camp counselor at a Christian summer camp where you teach kids how to ride horses and dirt bikes and teach them about Jesus is amazing! Best summer job ever! But it also comes with great responsibility. I was reminded that summer that Jesus’ message is simple. It doesn’t need any well-meaning lingo or fancy words. His word is alive and active and able to be understood just as it is all by itself.

I think sometimes we feel like we need to “help” make the message of Jesus easier to understand. Or maybe we need to adapt things so the message can be accepted more freely. But you know what? It’s the Holy Spirit that opens the heart to hear and understand. It isn’t us. We are merely messengers. God doesn’t need us to interpret for Him. He just needs us to share His message of love and truth. In 1 Corinthians 14:16, we are reminded, “Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is in the position of an inquirer, say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying?” Paul is referring to people speaking in tongues but I think we can make an argument that whether it’s speaking in tongues or speaking in Christian lingo Jesus’ message can get lost in translation. In verse 19 Paul continues by saying, “But in the church, I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue,” That’s a good reminder.

I’m so grateful for the power of the Holy Spirit to open the hearts of listeners. We are called to be messengers as we love and serve. I pray God gives us wisdom and insight in how to best love and share His truth. Whether it’s in word or deed may we all act in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus.

Blessings as you love and serve with great purpose,
Bonnie Nichols
Women’s Ministry Specialist

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