My husband Philip has a hilarious tendency to mimic the accents of the people and places he is in. Much to the delight of his children he often doesn't realise he is doing this and will start asking questions, ordering off a menu, or requesting directions in the weirdest sounding accents which he genuinely believes to be correct. Today's offering of accents for our entertainment was ordering a piccolo (a coffee) in an "Italian" accent which the waiter who initially was a little stressed and grumpy thought was highly entertaining, mostly because we were all laughing so much. Philip's accents remind me of Paul in the bible and how he talks about the importance of being all things to all men that we might win some. (1 Corinthians 9:22). Philip's accents definitely win people over and serve as a great icebreaker. Being all things to everyone doesn't mean we are a chameleon and change for our environment whilst failing to be comfortable and true to who we are. Instead, I think Paul was encouraging us to be adaptable to the circumstances around us and to try to mix lovingly and open-hearted (keeping within the guidelines of His word), with the people we are seeking to love and share our faith and lives with. My husband Philip is a confident, intelligent, and skilled communicator. His desire to connect instinctively leads him to try and find common ground to communicate, which often manifests in an accent when needed. :) He'll also endeavor to connect around a person's job, family, or sporting team so that he can give a word of encouragement, pray for them, and where possible motivate them to keep pursuing their goals and dreams. We can all very easily keep to ourselves, and allow our differences to separate rather than unite us. But a great way to win new friends, break down divides, and influence people for good is to lay aside our judgments, our differences, comfortability, and whether someone understands us or not. Instead, turn it around and be the one looking for ways to connect, encourage and, win over some people's hearts today.
"No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is made complete in us." (1 John 4:12)
Prayer: Lord please help me to find ways to connect with others and to focus on those things that unite rather than divide. In Jesus name Amen.