If you haven’t noticed it before, Florida is a huge melting pot. When I first made my move to the Sunshine State, I was surprised at the scarcity of a southern accent here in the Deep South. This is explained because people from all over the country and even from various foreign countries have made Florida their place of residence. They don’t have a southern accent because they speak with the accents they grew up with. I love to hear people talk and then try to guess where they are from just based on how they pronounce certain words. Whether we can hear it or not all of us have some kind of an accent. Our speech and mannerisms are shaped by the area we grew up in.
We who belong to Christ need to have a certain accent also? We need to be shaped and molded by our constant fellowship with Him. Phil. 2:5 says: “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus”. Our thinking, our attitudes, our behavior, and even our speech needs to take on that certain accent of Christ. People should be able to tell that we live real close to Jesus just by listening to us or watching us for awhile. In the book of Acts we are told that even the enemies of Christians could tell a difference in them. Acts 4:13-14 says: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus”. They had taken on the accent of Christ.
Perhaps you grew up in the Midwest, or spent your childhood on the East Coast. You might be from the Deep South and address everyone as y’all. However, those who are followers of Jesus need to speak with the accent of Christ. The echoes of His love, His kindness, His grace, and His holiness need to be heard from us. I wonder if some of us need to do a little work on our accent.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation