Christians Are So Weird Sometimes
For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:2
I grew up in a conservative Christian home, but like most other kids, I just wanted to fit in with the crowd. What I felt made me different was, in large part, due to my family’s faith. We went to church on Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings, we didn’t dance, and everyone knew my dad was a pastor.
I’m thankful for my upbringing, but as an adult, I still carry that sense of not wanting to be weird because of my faith. Today’s passage on speaking in tongues then, makes me a little uncomfortable. I can’t think of speaking in tongues without remembering that one weird lady who sat behind us in church when I was a kid. Without fail, every Sunday morning, she loudly expressed something that no one else understood.
I now attend a church where some members occasionally speak in tongues, which honestly, makes me a little uncomfortable. I believe that God can move someone so dramatically that he or she may utter mysterious words of the Spirit. I just don’t want to do it myself. Deep down, I’m a little afraid that if I completely surrender control, I’ll become like that weird lady who sat behind us when I was a kid.
You know what she had though that I don’t have? She didn’t care what anyone thought of her. Whatever else she may have been, she interacted with God as if no one was watching. As far as I know, she wasn’t grandstanding or putting on a show. She may have been weird, but she didn’t allow peer pressure to manage her relationship with God.
In today’s passage, Paul said we’re supposed to seek the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He didn’t say we must all speak in tongues though he did thank God though that he could do so. He taught we should be mindful of the impact our behavior has on both believers and unbelievers, but never did he suggest that we should alter our behavior based on peer pressure or popularity. We must obey God above all.
Worrying about what others think of me is just another manifestation of my pride. Pride is what has brought me to disaster in the past. If I want to continue growing in recovery and the new life, then daily, I must work at abandoning my way to follow God’s, never allowing public opinion to affect my obedience.