Having been involved with several churches and denominations within the Christian Community, I have noticed two “languages” used to talk about faith, with each person and church having its own preference.
The first is “Kingdom” language. With this language people ask, “How do we bring about the Kingdom that Jesus talked about?” The second is “Eternity” language. Using this language, people ask, “How do we do something that matters for Eternity?”
Some might say that living in the dialogue of Eternity language seeks the invisible future too much. On the flip-side, others say that the Kingdom language looks too often at our own aspirations for here and now. But I’ve met those that live by each of these languages and they often have much more complex viewpoints than simple boxes and boundaries could define. You could say, one language is their primary and the other is their secondary.
Well, if Eternity/Kingdom language uses are often more complex, than why this post? Because there is still a lesson here: one about listening to, learning from, and living out one another’s languages.
Those primarily speaking Eternity-focused language should listen to and learn from those that speak Kingdom-focused language; vice-versa. If we did this one step, we might grow a deeper understanding and appreciation for our siblings in Christ. And we might even begin healing complicated divisions.
But, learning from one another is just the starting point. We then must also challenge ourselves to begin praying with our our secondary language on occasion. And eventually train ourselves to go so far as to live it out daily. Because Christian faith involves both advancing the Kingdom today and doing something that matters for Eternity.