United understanding


I’ve noticed that certain words become characteristic of different groups of people. 

Organisations, sales teams, philosophers, artists, baseball fraternities, churches or mega church movements with different campuses. Media groups. Indeed there is accompanying word-talk in every area of life, involving groups of people.

Plumbers can sit and have an intelligent conversation about on-the-job experiences, and leave me feeling that I am listening to a foreign language. Not foreign to them, because they all know the acquired lingo.

New-age-type-people similarly have a certain language where the same words come into play in their communications.

Even in this dictionary definition we find some of those commonly used words:

a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture, with an interest in spirituality, mysticism, holism, and environmentalism: the New Age movement.

Particular words/phrases and their popularity in the Christian church worldwide seem to come and go. 

Words such as breakthrough, prosperity, soaking, story, and so on.

If you listen to people sharing – one after the other – you will find these common expressions cropping up in their speeches.

Now where exactly am I going with this? Well I’m drawing attention to language to lead us into considering the awful blight of mis-communication.

When you mix with Christian church members for a period of time – you will pick up on the in-house lingo. And find yourself using the words you are hearing them use.

When I was a young Christian I went to serve God on a team that included an older American believer. 

When I arrived home and amongst members of my youth group again, I was addressing God as Gad, as my acquired American pronunciation prevailed for a short while.

Taking on board common terms of expression, helps us to feel that we fit in. Plus we adopt/adapt these words because we have a desire to communicate and be understood.

But this does not always end well.

It’s always been of interest to me, and at times a matter of incredulity on my part – to realise how difficult communication can be, between human beings, in the church or otherwise.

Slightly digressing but illustrating my point – I remember a lady making a comment after seeing one of my paintings in a post I did some years ago.

She commented that she was wary of the painting, because in her eyes it was ‘new age’.

Nothing could be further from the truth, but she remained unconvinced, even when I assured her of my soundness, when it came to Christian doctrine.

It looked new age to her, and in her eyes, new age it was going to be.

That’s the similar problem with words.

In this case regarding the painting – she couldn’t grasp the fundamental motivational aspect and style of my paintings – which is a search for, and expression of – good design. Basically that’s it!

When we are young we all speak a similar language, using words common to the ‘gang’.

I have experienced the difficulty of trying to express from the heart – truth with integrity, only to be misunderstood and/or misunderstood completely.

There is nothing new under the sun. The disciples walked with God every day but had the same difficulties. Wanting privileged seating rights, and debating who should be the greatest. What sort of communication was this?

It is part of the blemish of the fallen race: mis-communication, misunderstanding, dogmatic division, disunity, factions, false-accusations, biting and devouring one another, and so on. (Galatians 5/15, I Corinthians 1/10, 3/3)

An awful state of affairs. And yet!

Psalm 133

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

For brethren to dwell together in unity!…

…For there the Lord commanded the blessing—

Life forevermore.

So how come the church seemingly cannot utilise this wonderful truth of unity to see the manifestation of God moving in power?

Because of mis-understanding and an ingrained inability to speak the same thing. To agree. To be of the same mind in The Lord, despite using similar lingo.

To be perfectly joined together. To agree to differ and still be able to have transparent fellowship.

Man in his nature wants to be right – even when he is wrong. Often digging our heels in – in a conversation is the beginning of disunity and division.

There doesn’t seem to be a mechanism to reach agreement by using language. By conversing – a lot of the time – disunity becomes worse.

That’s because the sinful nature contained in these bodies of ours is set on fire by the tongue, which has the characteristics of hell fire. (James 3/6)

The only solution is when believers 100% set themselves to be wrong – and corporately hear ‘the same thing’ from The Lord Himself, who is always right. (Phil. 2/5)

Allow His mind to be in them – in understanding, in speaking and in agreeing what is right.

I Corinthians 1/ Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

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