What Does Your Accent Say About You?

I live as an American, but when open my mouth, I speak with an accent. I can’t help it. I’m a Romanian immigrant and English will always be my second language. As an English major and dedicated student, I thoroughly tried to eliminate it – but to no avail. Where I’m from will always come out. It used to unsettle me when people pointed out my accent. “I knew you were not from here the moment you spoke!” It became a refrain that reinforced that I was different. Different even though my jeans, T-shirts, and hamburger in hand screamed “this is my home!” My accent accentuates my beginnings, my roots, my birth, my first home, my family. My accent blurts out my heritage.

Truth is, everyone has an accent. Our accents reveal our heritage, but they also expose the soul’s allegiance. Spiritually, we all speak with accents that reveal who holds our heart’s worship. The soul with no god speaks from roots of a self-made me-ology. The soul with many gods speaks with flavors of idolatry. The soul trusting in the one and true God speaks with trademarks of a genuine theology. As Christians, we have been given a new “citizenship in heaven.” Christ is our heritage and Heaven is our home. How then should Christian accents sound? What if, as Christian women, we are so immersed in heavenly wisdom that it becomes our accent? What if, the moment we open up our mouths and speak, work and live, people can tell, “You are different. Where are you from?

What if, the moment we open up our mouths and speak, work and live, people can tell, “You are different. Where are you from?”

Wisdom marks us. “Sound wisdom” sets us apart from this world (Proverbs 2:7). It traces us to Heaven—where our home is. Wisdom is the accent of Heaven, displayed in every square inch of this Earth (Proverbs 3:29) and gifted “generously” to every believer who asks for it (James 1:5). Because it comes from God himself, this sound wisdom has no equal among human knowledge. It is priceless, matchless, transformative, rich, honorable, pleasant, life-sustaining, peaceable, blessed, secure, courageous, encouraging, shepherding. And these are traits pulled out from only one chapter in Proverbs! Google cannot outsmart it, advanced technologies cannot out-pass it, human minds cannot out-date it. In fact, our souls don’t thrive on mountain loads of data, facts, and information; they are enriched by the meaning from them. “While knowledge has the ability to take things apart, wisdom has the ability to put things together” (John A. Morrison). Heavenly wisdom still lights paths and sifts through all the knowledge around. Because “wisdom sees the end from the beginning”, it is sure to keep us bound for Heaven (A. W. Tozer).

In Proverbs 7:4, the narrator encourages his “son” (or every listener) to call wisdom his sister and insight his intimate friend. Wisdom is not abstract wavelengths of intelligence satisfying only the mind of a few. Heavenly wisdom is the relational, intimate, familial presence—able to stick close to heart like a sister, devoted to the soul like an intimate friend—an open, stable Home for those who need a family. How close are you to this wisdom?

When a Christian woman makes wisdom her family, her speech and deeds bear the accent of her Home. I know because my earthly accent reminds me of mine. Just as my Romanian accent reminds me of my past heritage, the heavenly accent of Heaven in our lives showcases our forever heritage in Christ. Not only does it state to whom we belong, but this heavenly wisdom is also a present guide leading us Heavenward.

Since we are citizens of heaven, being different shouldn’t discourage us. In fact, wisdom enables us to remain different by giving us opportunities to reveal the thread of Heaven in our roles as women of God. May we all speak and live with heavenly accents that grow stronger and heavier—a reality of minds and hearts transformed by the gospel. May we embrace even tighter the opportunity of being different for Jesus while living on this earth.


1 Comment

Comments are closed.