Well, I did it again. I embarrassed myself with something I said. No surprise there.
I was trying to impress the missionary speaker who was visiting our church with my limited knowledge of the Spanish language. We were talking about birthdays and age, and I told him, in Spanish, “I am 21 years old.” When he laughed, I realized I had made a mistake. Yeah, I was 21 years old – 30 years ago. I actually caught it and corrected it myself. But it was too late.
I took four years of Spanish – two in high school and two in college. I made A’s all four years. You would think I could at least carry on a brief and simple conversation in the language.
But there are a couple of reasons I cannot do it well. It has been a long time since I studied it, and I have not practiced. Repetition is essential to master a second language.
But even when I was practicing and studying Spanish, I still thought in English. Those who have mastered other languages say the key to speaking a language is that you have to “think in the language.” It has to come naturally. It has to flow.
This idea actually has application to my life as a Christian. In many ways, as a follower of Jesus, I live in a culture that is foreign to my faith. I am constantly tugged and pulled to be disloyal to the Lord. In order to live out my faith, I have to think “christianly.” Yes, I know that is a made-up word. And yet, it is a true concept.
To think christianly will mean my default mode is to do what Jesus would do in every situation. It means I will do more than what he would do. It means I will think as he thought. And that is not natural to us.
God says in his word, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8). If it is your desire to do the things that God wants you to do, then you must seek to think as he thinks. And quite frankly, God thinks in a way that counters much of the world’s knowledge. God thinks it is best to put the needs of others before our own. God thinks it is best to be honest and helpful and holy. God thinks it is best to give away our lives.
I do not always think christianly. Too many times I think just like everyone else, and then I act in ways I should not act. But I am committed to change both the way I think and the way I act.
If you are a Christian, I want to encourage you to do the same. God is calling his followers to think his thoughts and do his deeds. Will you commit to do just that?