[Read above post first!!!]
Everything I do, everything I think, and everything I am committed to, stems from my relationship with God. So how I communicate, both in my non-verbal cues and verbal speech, comes from the most basic view I hold about the world; “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16+17). God sent his Son, Jesus to live in the world as a human in order to die on a cross for our sins (the sentence for a common criminal at that time). He took all of our mistakes and sins upon himself so we could be wiped clean by accepting him. When he rose from the dead, and ascended to Heaven, three days later he made it possible for us to believe in him and live eternally in Heaven with God.
So as a person-in-the-world I view the world based on the idea that God is the creator and ruler of everything. A simplified description of life for me could be described as God creates people, they are born, people fall away from God’s intended plan (that they should be in a relationship with him), and people either accept Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection for their sins or they don’t come back to the Lord at all. I already knew some people do not agree with that and they have views that differ from mine but this class helped me to see how effectively I can communicate with people even though we don’t agree on the most important part of my life. To me the Bible is truth and God is the ruler of my life but I can still communicate with people who don’t agree with me.
How my ideas translate into my actions is easy. I know that the Lord has a plan for my life and it is better then anything I can create for myself. So I try to consult him in all of my decisions. His timing is way different then mine (because he is not restricted by time) but if I follow him he is always glorified in the end and I am always left praising him for working in my life. For instance, when I walked away from the Lord in middle school I was in a very dark place where I felt alone amidst crowds of family and friends. But God clearly spoke to me through his Holy Spirit one day when I was thinking of cutting my wrists. He said, “You are my child and I have better things planned for you. I love you and do not want this for you. Please don’t do this to yourself.” So I set the razor back down and turned back to him. Through years of arguing with God and holding onto my depression he eventually took my negative ideas of myself and the world away from me and replaced them with hope and peace. Jeremiah 29:11+12 captures this idea well. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you and hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me and I will hear you.” He is a personal God who is invested in our lives and responds when we call on him. Nothing in our lives is too small for him to care about and nothing is too big for him to handle. I can pray about my finals and he will give me peace or show me that in the long run they are not as important as I think they are. He can teach me anything through taking a final but whatever it is that he wants to show me I guarantee it will be worth learning.
I have days where I don’t trust God and don’t communicate with him but those days are always the most stressful or the most disheartening. It is infinitely better when I let him have control of my life. God is the biggest part of my life and because of that, when I do something, I have a purpose in doing it. My purpose is to share God’s love with people in what I do, what I say, and how I interact with people. I don’t want to push my beliefs or God on people but I do want everyone to have the opportunity to accept God’s free gift of salvation. When I go to a different country or even to the grocery store I try to take every opportunity to share Jesus with people. If they don’t want to hear it I don’t push it because that doesn’t benefit either of us. I just offer the opportunity for people to hear about God’s saving love. Overall, I act because I love God and I want everyone to have the same relationship with him. It is the same as sharing a love for food or Phish [my teacher’s favorite band and what he did his dissertation on] with people. Just giving them the opportunity to experience it is not un-intercultural at all. It is instead very intercultural because it is allowing others to experience different cultures. They have the choice to try the new experience or not participate.
To me communicating is another part of my life where I should be representing Christ. I sometimes fail and am not an example of God’s love but for the most part that is why I communicate. To express my desire to see all people experience God’s love. Not because I feel superior to those who don’t (No one is any more superior then another because of what they believe.) but because I am so changed by God and so excited about what he is doing in my life.
I am committed to sharing my faith. I am committed to relying on the Lord. I am committed to taking every opportunity to share the hope I have in God. I am also committed to not being pushy. I am committed to not force anything on anyone. I am committed to let God’s love do the work because I cannot change hearts, only he can.