I grew up in a neighborhood called Pine Hills, in Fort Payne Alabama. There were lots of kids, and most of them roamed the neighborhood without a care. My mom, on the other hand, wasn’t too keen on letting my sister and me go off too far.
My , now best friend Lajuana, grew up two houses down from me. She had an older brother named Trevor. I could not stand Trevor! He was, by far, one of the most annoying people on the planet! He had this funny ‘talk’ he did, and he would mock everything you said in that funny voice.
To talk like that, you had to cock your head to the side, and whichever side you cocked your head to, you drew your mouth over to that side too. Almost as if you’d had a stroke. Your eyes were kind of wide, and you had to make your voice sound kind of strained, and every sentence started with “Ahdee” It sounds so crazy, and it’s really hard to convey it properly in words, but hopefully y’all get the picture.
See why I thought Trevor was the most annoying human being on the face of the earth? What if everything you said, in a certain person’s presence, they mocked every word you said, looking and sounding like that?! When I was younger I wanted to punch him!
The funny thing is, after Trevor got older and kind of moved on, the rest of us started talking like that. To this day, if I run into certain people, we always end up talking like that. I often wonder, if when we’re chatting it up in the middle of Walmart, our faces distorted, and speaking in a funny sounding voice, if anyone’s ever been watching and thought, “Bless ’em Lord, there’s something wrong with those poor women.”
It baffles me how, something I despised so much, I ended up doing it myself. That’s happened to me so many times in my life; more times than I can count. That’s why it’s important with whom, and with what, you surround yourself.
When people from Fort Payne, hear us talking like that, there’s not a doubt in their minds that we grew up in Pine Hills with Trevor. I wonder now, if someone was watching me and my friends from afar, would they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we were Christians?
The way you talk may give away where you’re from, for the most part, you can’t help that; but does the way you act give away who you serve? That’s a question we all need to think about.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2 The Message