Thursday, March 28, 2013

You Gotta Big Mouth, and You Talk Too Much

When I was growing up there was a song that had the words, You gotta big mouth, and you talk too much. I don’t have a clue what the rest of the song says, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know, but for whatever reason, I remember that phrase probably because it summarized me well. LOL.

Some of you may or may not know, but my daddy is an ordained minister. When I was in elementary he was an interim pastor for a while. Since that time, he’s conducted funerals and weddings, and of course where daddy is concerned there is always one humorous story that happens in his wanderings through life. Funerals are no exception. While Daddy didn’t go to seminary, he had one of the main prerequisites to being a Baptist preacher…he could talk. Daddy is a story teller. He weaves a tale with colorful expressions and imaginative phrases, and whether it’s the first time you’ve heard one of his stories or the hundredth time you’ve heard a story, you can’t help but laugh. Some of his stories are longer than others, and some of his jokes are longer than others, but you put him in front of an audience who is expecting to hear something, and he is on…much like my daughter.

If you give a Baptist preacher a microphone, he just can’t limit himself to five minutes. I don’t know if they learn that in seminary, or if that is just part of that spiritual gift. It’s one of the reasons I think Paul had to have been the first Baptist preacher that walked the face of the earth…lol. In Acts 21, Paul arrives in Jerusalem, gives his report and begins a purification process when he is arrested. He’s arrested only after a flash mob has started to try to kill Paul by beating him to a pulp. (My version, you can check out verse 32). As the soldiers are leading Paul away, I guess Paul realized there was a captive audience, and he asked to speak to them. I mean what could they do, he had armed guards around him then. Paul is given permission to speak, and he uses this time to give his testimony, and he does it in such a way as to grab the audience’s attention.

Have you ever found yourself unexpectedly in front of an audience? Have you ever found yourself speaking to a few people that you hadn’t planned on speaking to? Do you use that opportunity to give your testimony? Are you prepared to give your testimony? Maybe that’s an even better question.

Have you ever spoken to someone on the phone, get a picture in your head of what they look like and when you meet, you couldn’t be more wrong? My son is 100% Hispanic. He has a head full of that jet black hair, beautiful almond shaped eyes, and his skin tans flawlessly. When we have visited our Spanish mission church, the kids run up to him speaking Spanish, and he looks at them and says with a twang, “What?” That cracks me up. My husband and I love to watch the show Chopped, and there is a chef named Jun. He is Asian but was raised in England and has the most beautiful British accent. That cracks me up. It caught my attention. I was expecting to hear something different.

The crowd listened to Paul when he spoke because he was able to speak their language. When you talk to someone about Jesus, don’t use the church lingo. Your speech should be like Christ, and the message while biblically based can be personalized so that all can understand. You don’t have to curse or swear to speak their language because if you curse and swear like them then you are no different and your message is no different.

Paul stuck with the facts, and the crowd was with him up until Paul said that God told him to go to the Gentiles. You know, they may have blocked him out after that but up until that time they were listening. They heard about Paul’s testimony about how her persecuted Christians and how he was blinded and how his sight was restored. God’s Word does not return void (Is 55:11). What that means is that whatever is spoken about God at his direction will produce an effect that he pleases and  for his purposes. God gave Paul a platform to testify. Many heard it that day, and I can’t help but think that God used his testimony to affect change in someone’s life that day.

It is not our job to brow beat people with the Word. It is our job to testify, to encourage, to learn it, and to teach it to others. God is responsible for the outcome. When you realize this, it really takes the burden off your shoulders. So I challenge you to look for opportunities to tell others what God is doing in your life, and I encourage you to speak boldly.

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