Love in any language

Published 1:13 pm Sunday, January 14, 2024

Hi, all. Just a thought to help start your weekend.

Did you study another language in school? Have you had the opportunity to befriend someone who speaks a different language? If you have, then you probably are more appreciative of their background, heritage, or homeland.

In high school, I had a friend who was studying French. By listening to him, I learned a few phrases, none of which I actually used when I visited France, though! In college, I had a friend from Turkey. His language and foods were fascinating and enjoyable. Our Chinese friends locally have allowed us to see how the love of Jesus is working through them and through their family members at home. All of these have been opportunities to love others as God sees and loves them.

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Take a look at my picture this week. You probably have no problem reading the Bible verse on the left side, but what about the one on the right? I tried. I read it aloud at my sister’s house at Christmas. When I finished, she responded with, “Well, I recognized a couple of those words.” She wasn’t complimenting my usage of the language. She knows those words. I obviously didn’t. My sister and her pastor husband work with and minister to the people of the Choctaw Indian reservation in central Mississippi. This Bible is my brother-in-law’s English/Choctaw translation.

I didn’t do well at reading those Choctaw words of John 3:16. But those words will no-doubt bring love, joy, and comfort to those who know the language.

If we are to meet the needs of the people around us, we must know their language. That may mean speaking differently, approaching them differently, being more patient, and lovingly encouraging the lost around us to come to know the language of the Lord — LOVE.

There was a phrase that our supervisor used frequently when I worked with the welfare system, and it’s a phrase that a Sunday School teacher or two uses from time to time in our church. It is simply this — “People will never care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

Part of caring for the lost is learning how to speak to them. Beating them over the head with the Word and telling them they’re lost will generally not be nearly as effective as living the Word in front of them and showing them, as Sandi Patty sang, “Love in Any Language.”

Just a thought. ’Til later.

Brad Campbell can be reached at