Tuesday, April 14, 2020
There are days when I have a very hard time understanding my grandchildren. That statement alone would elicit the response, “OK Boomer.” Just yesterday I was telling a story to a few of them in a video chat, and one of them interrupted me and asked, “When?” I said, “When what?’, to which came the response “When did I ask?”
It seems every time I talk to one of them there’s a new term I have to learn, and then I get it wrong when I use it the first time. I guess I amn’t vibin’ yet. (Yes, amn’t is now an official word in the van Gorkom dictionary.)
The more we hang around with people, the more we begin to adapt their style of communication. We begin using their words, and we may even develop their regional accent. Except with our former Worship Pastor James Alan. I never will talk like him. All Y’all won’t either.
One of the unique qualities of the Gospel of John is that the Apostle John’s personal vocabulary was obviously deeply influenced by his closeness to Jesus. John’s communication style was framed by the influence of his communion with the Lord. As one of my favorite old commentaries puts it, “There can be no doubt that the thoughts of Jesus had interpenetrated him. He was saturated with them, and they gave character to all his own meditations on the meaning of the Lord’s life.” (The Pulpit Commentary, Funk & Wagnalls, Co. 1883)
WOW! There’s a challenging thought for today. When people hear me speak, are they convinced that the thoughts of Jesus have so “interpenetrated” me that I am saturated with them and speak only what relates to Christ?
What would change about the way we communicate if we spent so much time with Jesus that our thoughts and speech were saturated with His words? Are we becoming saturated with Jesus? What would our world be like if the people who follow Jesus truly represented Him in word and deed?
That is only possible if we spend so much time with Him that His Holy Spirit interpenetrates every part of our being. The first thoughts we have in response to the circumstances of life are the thoughts of God’s goodness and sovereign control. The first thoughts we have when our value is attacked by people’s words are thoughts of grace and compassion. The first words out of our mouth when surprised with hurt or frustrated with failure are words of praise and thanksgiving.
What if every single event of life was seen in the light of Christ’s redemptive purpose to bring people to the cross for salvation? Are we willing to become that type of disciple: a disciple in love with the Lord and interpenetrated with His thoughts and words? If so, then begin today by spending intimate time with Him in Bible study and prayer, and decide that you will allow His influence to interpenetrate every part of your mind and soul.