Saying What We Truly Mean
When we are talking to others, we must always be careful in the words we choose when addressing them. We need to make sure that the listener will fully understand what we mean to say. At times, we can say something that is very plain to us to understand but very confusing to them. Let me give you an example. We might say “I have butterflies in my stomach.” To us, we mean we are very nervous but to the listener without the same understanding, they may wonder “How did butterflies get in your stomach?” We might also say “I believe their eyes are bigger than their stomach.” To us we mean that they thought that they were hungrier than they were, but to the listener, they might think “That person must look very strange.” We must choose our words carefully and then use wisdom in talking to others to get our point across.
In our discussions of our daily life in serving Jesus, we must always be as clear as we can and teach what we truly mean. Let me give you a few examples that show the importance of choosing the right words. Someone may ask us what kind of Christian are you? We might answer them by saying “I am a New Testament Christian.” They then may ask us “What does that mean?” You answer them by telling them “I’m trying to be just like the Christians were in the New Testament.” They then might ask “So you speak in tongues, perform miracles, and prophesy like the Christians did in the New Testament?” Of course, you don’t but you did say you were trying to be just like them. You see, you didn’t say what you truly meant. It would have been better if you had said “I am a Christian as the New Testament teaches and I follow the will of God to remain faithful as a Christian.”
Another example is someone may ask, “What kind of church do you go to?” “I go to the Brookhill Church of Christ and we are trying to be just like the church was in the New Testament.” They might then say “So you have apostles, prophets, and miracles are performed by your members?” Of course we do not have these people or activities being performed in the local church here but you did say you were trying to be just like the New Testament church. It would have been better to say “I attend the Brookhill Church which follows the pattern for the local church to have today that yes began in the New Testament in the book of Acts. Yes, the New Testament church did have some of these people and actions but we are told they would only be present for just a short while.” (approx 100 years). Please read I Cor. 13:8-12.
When Jesus sent out the apostles to all the world in Matthew 28:18-20, they had the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit. Our guidance today from the Holy Spirit is through the written word. We must try to understand our audience that we are talking to. Some have no Biblical knowledge while others may have a lot. Our job is to explain to them how to become a Christian, be faithful and about the local church which we are members of.
We must do this in a simple but convincing manner. We must first have a love for God, a love for the lost, and Bible knowledge to teach. We may only get one opportunity to teach somebody so let’s make sure that we are saying what we truly mean.