(I wrote this for my employer’s monthly newsletter this month. I received a couple of compliments on it over the weekend, so I thought I’d go ahead and share it here as well. I work for a Christian radio broadcaster, so that should explain all the funny letter combinations.)
I don’t remember how old I was, but when I was in elementary school I had to meet with the speech teacher (or specialist or whatever she was called back then) because I was having some problems enunciating the s sound. I don’t remember how long we met, but at some point it was determined I had made enough improvement to not have to go to the special sessions anymore.
Even though that final determination was made years ago, though, I still notice a slight slur when I say certain s words. Like when I have to say “Seventh Day Slumber” on WTRT or “six o’clock in the morning” on WAAJ or “Southern Gospel” on WVHM. In fact, I think it’s pretty noticeable, so I was surprised that when I mentioned this to my wife she said she had never noticed anything out of the ordinary.
While I don’t interact with our listeners as much as I’d like to, I can also say that none of them have ever mentioned noticing this self-perceived problem of mine either. I find it hard to believe that no one has ever heard it, though. I mean, I’m reminded of it every time I open the microphone and get on the air. If it’s that noticeable to me, it must be that way to everyone else, right?
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:8-12, ESV)
When Paul instructs us in Romans 12 to renew our minds, he is instructing us to “not be conformed to this world,” but I am beginning to see how renewing the mind is vital to everything we do. In the same way everything I say gets filtered through my knowledge I had a speech impediment, my perception of how God sees me is greatly affected by my sins, both past and present. “There is no way He could look upon me with favor,” I think to myself. “There is no way He could be pleased with me.”
God’s thinking is so radically different from ours, though. First, He sent His only son to die for me, not after I got my act together but while I was still a sinner (Romans 5:8). Then He seated me with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). He reconciled me to Him (Colossians 1:22). He took away condemnation (Romans 8:1). And then in Hebrews via Isaiah the Bible tells me He will remember my sin no more.
All this is totally contrary to how my mind works. It doesn’t make any sense. How could someone I seem to disobey every chance I get still feel this way about me? Proverbs 28:26 says, “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” No matter how I or the world around me may view me, God has His own unique perspective, and that perspective is spelled out in His word. He desires to be glorified through my weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9), and he does not condemn me but instead intercedes on my behalf (Romans 8:34).
Of course, now that I’ve mentioned my s problem you’ll probably be listening for it every time I open up the microphone. If boasting of my weaknesses can lead me to a deeper revelation of God’s love for me, though, I think I can live with that.