Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Bids Us Shine"1 (Lyrics)
1 Corinthians 14:10-11 – Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me. (NIV)
How wonderful that our God, who knows everything, understands every language. Workers and families from the mid-west and south brought to our 1950s lumber mill camps every accent, dialect, and regionalism spoken. While we struggled to understand locality-seasoned conversation, God easily comprehended. I am amazed that as small children coo, jabber, and chitter-chatter in any dialect or language, they will eventually speak intelligently in their native tongue. God designed us that way.
Today's Scripture says that when we don't understand a speaker's language, we are foreigners to each other. What a blessing that no one is a foreigner to God, nor He to them. Our all-knowing God understands every stage of every language, so He is never a foreigner to any language or stage of growth. Language presents no barrier to Him or to the ones speaking to Him.
When a missionary is commissioned to a distant land, he and his family learn the language of the country where they plan to live. Overarching the plan, God understands both languages. Very young children who are learning different languages not only voice words but also use a variety of gestures, hugs, sign language, and other motions to talk with each other. They learn to relate more quickly than the parents do. God must smile.
Do you struggle to understand your neighbours? Listen with your heart.
Prayer: Dear Lord, as You relate to people of any language without reservation, prejudice, or self-consciousness, You delight in us through our own language. May we speak words of encouragement to others, lift up Your name in worship, and sing songs of praise to You. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.