Feb 27, 2013

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MEDITATION: To speak your whole vocabulary

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered; and they recognised that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13)

We all have our resolve or wishes for the new year.

Chris, who is a committed believer, thought carefully about his own. And it is really one of the more profound ones I have noted.

“This year I want to speak my whole vocabulary”, he informed me when we met earlier this year.

“For many years now I have worked in the corporate world, also in other secular spheres of life. I have been exposed to the ethos and values which determine the outlook and energy of big companies. In some strange way I always felt inhibited by them, as if I was obliged to follow and speak the language of the bosses, abide by their rules and regulations, live up to their expectations.”

“In this context I had the feeling that my personal opinions, my deepest convictions and critical questions did not really count. That they were not that important. And if ever expressed, will be looked upon with scepticism, if not outright scorn. So I held them back, feeling reluctant, if not slightly embarrassed to voice them.”

“But now that is past. I am in a new place. I feel much more free and relaxed.”

“So this year I want to speak my whole vocabulary. I want to clearly say how I feel and what I believe without being offensive or arrogant. In fact, this task or directive has become extremely important for our country – also for the church where many good people are misled by bad preaching and distorted teaching which do not always serve the inclusive love of Christ. And one should be able to counter these one-sided and exclusive views.”

“One does not have to fight or be overly aggressive. But one should be courageous enough to speak your whole vocabulary in a calm, civilised and sensitive manner.”

It is possible that Chris’s resolve came from a place of growing frustration. But there is no doubt that what he envisioned for himself, has great value for each one of us.

Because we need to speak our whole vocabulary, always, everywhere, without excluding anybody or creating the impression that we know better.

In fact this is what happens when the gospel touches and changes us – we become bold enough to speak our whole vocabulary – just like the apostles in Acts 4:13.

Carel Anthonissen

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