Had a great time at Ignite last night – I got to rap, I got to preach the gospel and I got to see young people get saved. I also got to eat a shed-load of meaty pizza beforehand – which always makes for a good night!
However, I wasn’t quite ready for what happened after the event had finished! I was surrounded by a bunch of grinning techies, each gripping a small piece of paper.”Neil won!” I was informed as they each handed me their slip of paper. I looked at one of the sheets and was surprised to see the words “Dai Bingo” printed across the top. Below that was a grid full of words and it didn’t take long to clock what this was all about. As I read words like “BUZZIN”, “PUTS ON CHAV VOICE” and “MENTIONS ELEN” and saw that some of these boxes had crosses or ticks in them, it became clear that while I had been preaching my guts out for the glory of Jesus, these guys had been keeping scores on my catch-phrases, mannerisms and predictable points of illustration. In fairness, I’ve known them and worked with them so many times that they probably know how I preach better than I do! And I must confess I found the whole thing hilarious!!
To be honest I was glad that while my family, my church and my estate were things that I apparently talk about a lot, there was also nothing rude or inappropriate on there!! But it did get me thinking because for better or worse, these guys had been around me enough to be able to observe what I’m about! My words and ways had clearly been noted and given them a window into my life! One of the things that Jesus taught was that “Out of the overflow of [the] heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6v45). Or simply put – our words reveal the truth about who we really are. Furthermore, Paul wrote that we are all “living epistles” (2Corinthians 3v3) – meaning that our lives are literally letters for the world to read!
So what if people played “[Your name] Bingo” every day? What habits and sound-bites would they attribute to you? What would people learn about you from your words – both what you say and how you say it? What would your life teach others (if anything) about you and your God?
It’s challenging isn’t it!
My prayer is that my life and my language will only ever give glory to God and grace to my world.
I pray the same for you too!