BY STEVE KELLY
(ACC17 GUEST SPEAKER)
When I was eight years old, my family moved us from Queens, New York to Sydney, Australia. Being a young boy at the time, I can remember desperately wanting to belong and be known for me, not my accent. This resulted in losing my American accent to sound like everyone else around me.
Ironically, when I returned to America some 25 years later, I received the same reaction from Americans as I had experienced as a boy in Australia. Everyone commented on my accent – however, now I had matured and was comfortable with my own voice. My Australian accent made me stand out, and it clearly demonstrated that I am from another culture, from another place.
I believe the same principle is true when it comes to the Kingdom of heaven. It was said that Jesus sounded different to other religious people. He spoke with such authority, grace, and life that it stopped people and caused them to listen. Even soldiers sent to arrest Jesus returned proclaiming, “Never has anyone spoken like this man!”
It’s important to ask ourselves, what is our accent? When people hear us, do they hear the accent of heaven? Words full of a good report? Words that cause people to stay ‘up’ in an upside-down world? Words that deliver hope and life to our communities desperate for Good News.
‘Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.’ (Proverbs 18:21 MSG)
TODAY: TAKE ANOTHER LOOK… listen to your voice and examine its sound.