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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Language of Lies

Unfortunately, I only speak one language fluently. I always learn the greetings in the native language of the countries I have visited but beyond that I know very little.

Several years ago one of my daughters came running up to me while we were visiting France. I had left her and my wife shopping while I wandered down a street with some friends. My daughter told me to come quickly because a man was, "Yelling at Mom!" When I got there I found out that my wife had left some of the items she had purchased on the counter and the man was trying to retrieve her items. He wasn't angry. He was just increasing the volume to help her understand french. It wasn't working.

Saying things louder does not help people understand a new language. They do not have a problem with their hearing. They have a problem with their understanding.

There were Jews who confronted Jesus because they could not understand Him. He was not speaking their language. They only knew the language of lies.

John 8:43-45 (NIV) 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

Most of us learn our native tongue by interacting with people who speak it. We even adopt the accents of those we are around. Many people will never know another language fluently. Even the words that they learn in other languages are translated into the native tongue. They have to think, translate and, then, communicate with others in a a different language. This is not true of those who become fluent. They can think in any language they are using.

Now think of those who grow up learning the language of lies. They often cannot understand the Truth. Even when they understand the concept of the Truth, they often translate it from what they do understand. Thus, when they speak of those who know Christ as religious. They say that they got "religion" rather than a relationship with Jesus. They see the rituals as having meaning within themselves. There is no need for a living Christ to exists. The ritual itself is moving enough.

I have learned enough Spanish phrases to fool a non-spanish speaking person. They will hear me rattle off my Spanish as if I know what I am talking about. They don't know how badly the words are pronounced or that they carry a very bad American accent. They believe I know how to speak Spanish. But I am obvious to the native Spanish speaking person. They know very soon  that I don't know how to speak Spanish.

Several people who come to church learn to say some of the words that believers use. Their words fool the ones who do not speak the language of Truth. It should be obvious to the believers when someone is just pretending they know the language.

There was a time in my life when I couldn't read. I really don't remember the process of learning. I don't think about reading when I read. I just read.

There was a time in my life when I couldn't type. I would hunt and peck but did not really know how to type. I bought a computer typing program and started going through it. I can't tell you the day I said, "Now, I can type." I don't think about the letters. I just type.

There was a time in my life when I didn't understand the language of Truth. I only knew the language of lies. I don't know how it came about. I just knew that what I heard was the Truth. I accepted the Truth and am uncomfortable when I start listening to the language of lies. I guess this is the only area where I am bilingual.

This means that people who hear the Truth do not understand it like a person may not understand a different language. Something has to happen to cause them to understand it. Simply saying it louder doesn't work They must have an interpreter.

Thus, the Holy Spirit comes to give us the ability to speak and understand the Truth.

John 14:16-17 (NIV) 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Maybe we are all bilingual. The language we speak is determined by which one we act on. So, which language are you speaking today?

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