Words of Worth

Lost in Translation?

August 5, 2010

Lost in translation?

Cammy and I just returned from Europe where we had the opportunity to teach and encourage teachers from literally around the world.  Fortunately for us, we didn’t need a translator as all the “students” spoke and understood English.

However, our home away from home was located in the Southwest corner of Germany, in the Black Forest where the people in the beautiful village, while fairly fluent in English, spoke many languages—German, Italian, Spanish, French, and Chinese. Everyday we heard diverse languages and dialects as we journeyed not only in Germany but neighboring France and Switzerland as well.  We had great fun trying out the languages and the Europeans had great patience with our humble attempts at communication. It honored them that we would at least make the effort to interact using their language.  Our faltering words mattered to them and their polished English eased our foreign language errors.  Although we were successful, through words and gestures, to break the language barriers and make new friends, every situation required careful thought, and some days it was exhausting trying to stay ahead of the language game.

But in the evenings, back in our rented German home, conversation was simple and uncomplicated.  We spoke freely in English to each other, feeling the comfort and ease of our own native tongue.  We didn’t have to think how to enunciate a word or construct a phrase – what was naturally within us, poured forth from us as we shared highlights of the day and made plans for the next.

For many people who live overseas, English serves as their second language.

For those of us who live seeking the Lord, His Word should be our second language.

Jeremiah, 15:16 says, “Your words were found and I ate them and Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart.”

Once while overseas, we were able to string together a sentence and be understood.  What a delight!  And when we ordered a meal and the right food came, it brought us joy!

How much more then should the consumption of God’s Word bring joy and life to us.  Shouldn’t the Word of God be so enticing we would spend time learning it, ingesting it, and savoring it until it becomes the delight of our hearts?  Shouldn’t we know the Word so well that to speak it fluently requires no extra thought at all?

Psalm 119 is dedicated to the value and worth of knowing God’s Word.  A young man can keep his way pure (vs 9), sin can be held at bay (vs 11),  revival comes to our souls (vs 25) and we gain much needed understanding (vs 130) all according to God’s Word.

There’s no doubt it’s helpful while traveling overseas to have at least a meager command of another language, but while we are here on the this earth, it’s vital to our very being to speak and know God’s Word and rest in its authority and truth.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….”  Jn 1:1

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