This is what children do with their parents. "Are you listening to what I'm telling you?" Uh, that would be no! When we hear an ad or announcement repeated ad nauseam, we tune it out as a means of self-preservation.
Perhaps this is why people are indifferent to the good news of God's redemption. They either tune it out because it's redundant and repetitive, or they just don't want to hear it. Then again, it could be something quite different.
Signs of the times
Christian believers and non-believers alike, tend to tune out redundant, repetitive Scripture quotes. This is especially true for quoting Scripture references. The ubiquitous signs at sporting events are more of an irritant than inspiration.
[bctt tweet="People tend to tune out redundant, repetitive Scripture quotes"]
Do people with Scripture reference signs really think they communicate the gospel? They don't. Only those familiar with these references know what they mean. Are sports fans suppose to have their Bibles handy to look up these references?
For me, this is spiritual laziness. It is useless effort. It doesn't communicate the truth of Scripture. (Want to know I really feel?...lol)
[bctt tweet="Do people with Scripture reference signs really think they communicate the gospel?"]
If a believer is genuinely concerned about lost souls hearing the truth of the gospel, then they need to communicate it well. How can a person share the truth of God's Word so others hear it and understand it?
I'm a believer of reading and hearing God's Word (the Bible) in different versions. It helps me see and hear the truth in a fresh way and in different wording. It keeps me from tuning out what I think I already know.
[bctt tweet="How can a person share the truth of God's Word so others hear it and understand it?"]
I found this helpful while teaching in the Philippines where English is a second language. Language is often a barrier to understanding, especially going from one distinct language to another. But obstacles exist within the language that's most familiar to us.
Often, certain words or terms are misunderstood or not understood at all. Here is where we need to learn to communicate the truth of God in a simple and clear way.
[bctt tweet="Certain Bible words or terms are misunderstood or not understood at all"]
Making it simple and clear
How can we communicate the truth so others hear it and understand it well? Here are some suggestions I've found helpful while teaching in the US and in cross-cultural settings.
[bctt tweet="How can we communicate the truth so others hear it and understand it well?"]
- Read (or listen to) the Scriptures in different versions
- plenty of online resources are available, along with many plans for reading through the Bible in a year
- here are a few places you can look online–
- Identify key words in a verse and how they are interrelated
- look at the context– the surrounding words and verses
- consider how each word is necessary to understand the whole thought
- this helps you see how the author intended the verse to be understood
- Use a dictionary and thesaurus
- as I use to say to my kids, "look it up yourself"
- looking up words and terms helps you process things in a fresh way
- here are a few places you can look online
- Reframe words and phrases within an expanded picture explanation
- describe concepts in concrete and familiar ways
- don't expect people to know what you know
- think of how you'd explain conceptual truth to a young child
- Understand the Scriptures in your own words (IYOW)
- this requires some thought, but is well worth the investment of time and thought
I'll give you an example in my next post, so stay tuned!
Give it a try yourself!