My children have always caught us off guard with some of their verbalizations. They have all been able to construct complete sentences much earlier than they technically should have been able to do so. They’ve also had more extensive vocabulary than expected at early ages. With each successive child it has been more pronounced, partly because they have been able to learn from their older siblings.
Thanks to the fact that Steven is the younger sibling of two vocabulary-loving voracious readers, his vocabulary is obviously the most advanced of the three at this age. So, quite a few surprising phrases proceed from his young mouth. Nothing bad, mind you, but definitely not vocabulary or phraseology that would be expected from a three-year-old.
Essentially, Steven’s speech reflects his company. It reflects their influence on him. Because they love trying out new vocabulary, they use their new words properly in their play with him. Inevitably, he learns them as well. Because they read extensively, they act out their favorite stories and make him one of the main characters. Naturally, he learns the stories to the extent that he is well able to interact appropriately in his play-acting roles. (There will be few surprises for the poor child when he finally reads The Chronicles of Narnia for himself!)
As believers, we are the same. How we speak, how we act, and how we carry ourself reflects our company. How attentive are we to the influences we allow to be utmost in our lives? What do our actions and words reveal about those influences?
A myriad of influences surround us whether we choose them or not. Which ones we allow to most affect us, however, is our own choice. If we are to truly follow Christ in this world, our influences must be in line with Scripture. They must also lead us to greater wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. People around us should be able to see that we are learning. There should be something distinctive about us.
Acts 4:13 records that when the boldness of Peter and John was observed, it was noted that they had been with Jesus. When Steven’s speech is heard, it is noted that he has been with his sisters. What about you? What do your actions and speech reveal about you? About your influences? About your company?
Oh, may the presence of Christ be reflected. May His influence be utmost that this world may be far more shocked by the Christ-like behavior in us than they could ever be by the advanced speech of a three-year-old.
May they take note that we have been with Jesus.