One of my biggest regrets in life is not paying attention and really working hard in all of my many Spanish classes in high school and college. My focus was far more on getting an ‘A’ than actually learning the language. I didn’t give it my best effort. I coasted through on quick memorization rather than actually learning.
Today I still can’t actually speak Spanish, but can get by with a little greeting and ask where the restroom is. I can pick out a few words to maybe get some context, but carrying on a full on conversation in Spanish is not something I can do. And I regret it. All of those wasted hours of class.
My regret isn’t that I can’t add the ability to speak a foreign language on my resume or read the menu at some of my favorite Mexican restaurants. No, my regret is that I have missed out on so many opportunities to have meaningful, gospel conversations with people who didn’t speak English.
Have you ever thought about how it’s possible to leverage learning another language for the spread of the gospel?
There are people all over the world that need to hear the gospel, and they don’t all speak English.
Are you or will you be taking a foreign language in middle school, high school, or college? Or maybe you are a self-starter with a full Rosetta Stone kit? Maybe there is this little part of you that just thinks Mandarin sounds so cool and you want to learn? Or maybe there are some people at your school that you have heard speaking Hindi or Arabic?
Learning another language opens up so many doors for spreading the gospel. You might have more opportunities in your neighborhood or you might be preparing for a future mission trip that you don’t even know about yet. Maybe the Lord will cultivate a love for languages in your heart so that one day you might learn a little known language in a remote village so that you can translate the Bible in their language for the first time. Or just maybe, the Lord might be preparing you to have a job one day in another country so that you can take the gospel to a new area.
Whether it’s Spanish, French, German, Swahili, Hindi, Arabic, Mandarin, Portuguese, or Russian, pay attention and work hard in those language classes. Take advantage of opportunities that you have to learn. The Lord could use that skill in unimaginable ways in your life for His great purposes! - Becca