Brett and I decided to be host parents to two Chinese boys attending school here for second semester. Boy number one arrived with his mother a few days ago. Tonight we met them at their hotel and went to dinner with them at The Cracker Barrel. They did not speak a lot of English, but enough that we carried on a good conversation with them and learned many things about China.
The mom apologized for her stuttering English. I told her I had taken a year of Spanish class once and after the year was over I could understand quite a bit, read Spanish pretty good, but I could hardly get a word out.
Have you ever felt that way when it comes to God or witnessing? Initially, when you learn a new language, there is a lot of listening to others who use that language and trying to understand what they say. That can be true about spiritual things as well. Religious talk has its own vocabulary. Early on I think people listen to what Christians say and try to understand it. It takes a bit to catch on to all the catch phrases.
Then you start reading, and though it can be hard at first to understand, the more you read and study the Bible, the deeper your understanding grows. There comes a point where you can clearly understand “Christianese” language and read the Bible and religious books with understanding.
However, when it comes to speaking or talking about Jesus, many of us seem to struggle and stutter like our new friend from China does with English. I believe what is true for her is true for us as well. Her English will get better and better the more she practices using English and submerges herself in English culture. We, too, will get better and better with, not only understanding of Christianity, but also our ability to talk openly about Jesus. By the way, it’s OK if you start out stuttering, Moses stuttered–a lot–and God used him to part the Red Sea. So go ahead and stutter if need be, just don’t give up talking about Jesus. Who knows what oceans God has for you to part and lead people to Him.