“When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
The suggested reading for today’s Our Daily Bread devotional is John 8:42-47. In these verses, Jesus Christ explained to the religious leaders the reason why they refused to believe Him – they did not understand His language. Rather than believe the Truth our Lord was speaking, they chose to cling to the lies of Satan, whom Jesus labeled “the father of lies”. Therefore, as He explained, because the religious leaders were so desperate to disprove Him, they were carrying out Satan’s desire. They could understand his deceptive language, but their ears were closed to the Truth.
The verses remind me of a situation I found myself in years ago. The department in which I worked was small. In the mornings, those friendly with one another would gather in small groups to discuss their weekends or nights before while sipping coffee and gathering the work for the day. Because our area was so small, we could hear each other’s conversations. The group in front of me stood enthralled as one woman relayed a date she had from the beginning to its sexual end, all in raunchy detail. I didn’t know the topic of conversation of the group to my right, but I could clearly hear expletives fly between them. Behind me, our team lead and her friend were sharing complaints about their husbands. Soon, my friend joined me. She was an older woman whose counsel I enjoyed. After exchanging pleasantries, I began to tell her about a bible verse I was reading, which turned into a discussion. During our discussion, I noticed the team lead leave her desk. I didn’t think much of it until the supervisor stepped into the area and asked my friend and me to join her in her office.
The supervisor advised she had received a complaint. It seems the team lead found our conversation upsetting. The supervisor explained our topic was inappropriate for the workplace. We should be mindful of what we say not just in the work area but the break room as well. Being fairly new in my walk with Christ, I became angry and was about to protest, but my friend stopped me. She turned to the supervisor, nodded her head and told her we understood. My friend then stood and beckoned for me to join her as she existed the office.
“Can you believe that?” I asked her as we walked back to our desks. “People all around us were cursing like sailors, putting down their families and talking about their sex lives, but a discussion about the Lord is inappropriate?”
My friend just smiled and responded with her own question, “Do you see how the devil tries to keep the Word from coming out?”
I can admit that it took me the better part of the day to cool down. I can also admit that I held on to some resentment for that team lead for a quite a while. Now that I am more knowledgeable in the Lord, I understand it better. I had always believed in Christ but was just then seriously and earnestly seeking Him. My friend was strong in Christ and was a wise and supportive guide. While I could only comprehend the natural of the situation, my friend saw the spiritual. Satan will use many people to keep one person far from the Lord. That team lead no doubt thought she was doing what was right. We are so used to hearing the talk of the world – curses, discord, sexual immorality, etc – that when Truth is discussed it appears foreign and goes against everything we have internalized as right and proper. The team lead, simply, did not understand our language.
Which language do you understand? Do you accept lies but are offended by the truth? In a sea of cursing, lying and immoral talk, does only a ripple of Christian conversation upset you?
May the Lord be with you today.