Pretty quickly as you travel through life and meet different people, it’s fairly apparent that everybody has an echo… What I mean by that is: there is a reverberation that comes off peoples lives that those around them experience, you could call it a sound, a taste, an energy, an ora, an overflow, an echo – whatever you want to label it, it is there.
A great question for us to ask ourselves is: what is the echo coming off my life?
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV
Here in this scripture we see this truth in effect, Paul is explaining to the Corinthian church and to us here today that we can have perfect presentation in our gifts and talents, have our lives all together, but if we’re missing love, the right heart towards others, the echo coming off our lives will be unbearable.
What I have realised though, is how often we try to create a good echo in the wrong way. If echoes are inevitable, if they are just an overflow and reflection of something else, then our focus needs to turn from the echo we’re creating to the sound we’re listening to. Whatever the loudest sound is in our lives is what will influence our echo the most.
If we’re listening mostly to negativity, negativity will be our echo.
If we’re listening mostly to fear, fear will be our echo.
So… What’s the loudest sound in your life?
Here’s a classic scene that helps illustrate my point…
If we truly want an echo that’s sweet and warm, a sound that people enjoy being around, a sound that echoes the love of God, we need to keep Christ as the loudest voice and influence in our hearts.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Romans 10:17 NIV
Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.
Isaiah 55:3a NIV
Sometimes, unfortunately, we fill our mind and our heart with a sound that we think is God, but in truth, is a sound that doesn’t represent Christ at all. It’s so important that we have the ability to distinguish what sound is of Christ, and what is not.
Below is a simple outline of what I believe best reveals the sound and heartbeat of Christ:
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14 NIV
The bible tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4) – and here in the above scripture it describes the manner of which Christ came to us as the son of God, “full of grace and truth”. Therefore, we could say that grace & truth are the fruit of love, the sound that love makes.
Truth is not something God designed to shame us or to point the finger at our faults, truths purpose is to help us receive grace. Truth shows us the path, grace enables us to walk it. We cannot seperate grace from truth or truth from grace, they are intrinsically intertwined.
Truth without grace would leave us aware of our need but without a way out. Grace without truth would leave us prideful and unappreciative of the help and blessings we’ve been given.
The way I like to view it is this:
LOVE IS THE TEMPO – God’s love is the consistent and enduring character that we can lean and rely on, enabling us to trust God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
GRACE & TRUTH ARE THE NOTES – the sound of Christ should always sound like this, beautiful notes that complement one another, kept in time by love.
FREEDOM IS THE MELODY – love, grace and truth form an incredible melody of freedom, a song that God desires to become the anthem and echo of our lives.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV
I’m praying that this is the sound we learn to tune into daily, and becomes the inevitable echo that resounds to the world around us.
If you feel yourself being overwhelmed by other noises of negativity, fear, guilt or condemnation, know that that is not the sound of Christ – still your heart and find rest in God’s love, remind yourself of His grace & truth and begin to thank Jesus for his melody of freedom that covers your life.
Hope this has helped!