Who do we sound like?

As we continue through our sermon series based on Pete Greig’s book ‘How to hear God – a simple guide for normal people’, we’ve reached the point where we’re looking at how God sometimes speaks to us through other people – and indeed, how he speaks to others through us. We’ve seen that apparently ordinary conversations or communications can have a ‘prophetic edge’ to them as someone injects just the right sort of inspired Godly wisdom, insight, knowledge or plain old common sense into a situation at just the right time. That is so often the way that God speaks to us.
In noting that the most important way that God speaks to us is through Jesus, Pete Greig writes: – ‘If I desire to hear God, the first thing that I need to realise is that it begins and ends with hearing Jesus… Jesus is what God sounds like. ‘He’s literally the “living Word of God”. Hearing his voice is not so much a skill [I] must master, therefore, as a master [I] must meet. All the other ways that God communicates – through the Bible, prophecy, dreams, visions and so on – come through Jesus and point back to him too.’
That presents us with a challenge. If God wants to speak through us as well as through Jesus, who do we sound like? We can often be identified – at least in part – by our voice; for example, Pauline’s accent reveals her Welsh heritage; Matthew’s his southern English upbringing. Our voice says something about the communities in which we grew up. Often, someone might sound as well as look just like their mother or father, because we adopt our parents’ speech patterns as our own.
So if Jesus is what God sounds like, and God chooses also to speak through us, do we sound like Jesus? Not in terms of accent, but in terms of tone. Does the way we talk to others convey attitudes of kindness, patience, respect, humility and love? Can we imagine Jesus talking to our friends, family, colleagues and neighbours in the way that we are talking to them? If not, what needs to change? Because every conversation is an opportunity for another person to hear the voice of Jesus – the voice of God – through us, if only we will spend time meeting with our master, learning to imitate how he spoke to others.
With our love and prayers
Matthew and Pauline