I See Your Lips Moving But I Can't Hear A Word You Said

Thursday, March 31, 2016

yelling through megaphone
"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1

My current job requires driving different vehicles with different co-workers on a daily basis. As we drive to our designated destination for the day we naturally find ourselves chatting about the latest happenings in our lives, talking about current events, or sharing the latest jokes we have heard. At times it can be a challenge to hear what my co-worker next to me is saying over the road noise, especially if he or she doesn't articulate clearly. Many times the conversation is peppered with the word, "What?" I can hear them talking but I just can't understand what they are saying. Talking louder does not solve anything. It just makes it worse.

Much of what I hear from people outside of the Church is that their impression of Christians is like riding in the car. They hear us talking but they can't hear a word we are saying. As they point out our lack of communication we just turn up the volume and get louder which only makes it worse. To make matters even worse, we tend to blame the problem on the listener rather than realize that maybe we are the reason why our message isn't getting through.

You see, the problem isn't volume but a lack of love. Without authentic, Christ-like love, everything we say is just noise and it is the lack of this love that prevents us from seeing that we are the problem. Without love, the focus of my life is me rather than you. It tricks me into thinking that I am right and you are wrong and it is my job to correct you. Without love I am blind to my own problems and can only see everyone else's. This reduces my message to nothing more than a noisy gong to those I talk to.

This is the picture the world has of the Church. They see our lips moving but they can't hear a word we are saying. Much of what I see of the Church today can be characterized by the picture at the top of this page. We are frustrated that people around us are not listening to us so we have resorted to picking up a megaphone and turning up to the volume to get them to listen. The result is that we are just making our message that much harder to hear and understand. They see our lips moving but they can't hear a word we are saying. So we get louder and they get deafer. We have lost sight of the point of our message - LOVE! We have become focused on what we do rather than who we are. That is the point of 1 Corinthians, chapter 13. We pride ourselves in our ability to speak in a heavenly language, our ability to prophesy, perform spectacular miracles, and to give money to causes but we have forgotten that it all means nothing unless we have become like Christ and posess true, authentic love. Without that, everything we do, as spectacular as that may be, is only an irritating noise not only to the world around us, but to God himslef.

What is the solution? It's simple realy. What we need to do is just stop talking. That's right, it's time we just shut up! It's time we stop trying to change the world and just focus on letting Christ change us and let him truly fill us with the same love he has for us. It is only then will our neighbors be able to hear what we are saying. It is only then will we have any right to speak. Until I have love, I have nothing to say. And when we truly have love we will find that we really don't have to say anything because love speaks for itself.
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