Watch your language

Our world grows smaller by the day – communications, economics, and other factors have turned us into a true global village. We are multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-partite, multi-faceted, multi-molecular, multi-pliable, multi-segmented, multi-talented, multi-volumed, multi-vitamened … I’m about multi’d-out.

Trying to compete in the global market place has proved to be daunting for many American companies. For example:

  • Coca-Cola first used a symbol that phonetically represented the sounds of their name when introducing their product to China. Translation: “Bite the wax tadpole.” With a little adjustment, they changed to “May the mouth rejoice.”
  • Chevrolet introduced the Nova to Latin America, neglecting to notice that the word meant “won’t go” in Spanish. Pretty accurate, huh?
  • Pepsi launched a campaign in Taiwan with the slogan, “Come alive with Pepsi.” Unfortunately, it came out: “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.” That would spice up the family reunion, don’t you think?
  • Parker Pen, breaking into the Flemish market, claimed their new leak-proof cartridge would prevent unwanted pregnancies. You might want to go back to the drawing board.
  • Frank Perdue perhaps had the biggest flub. His marketing tag, “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken,” came out in Spanish, “It takes a virile man to make a chicken affectionate.” Whoops.

In the diversity of our planet, how do we communicate about the things that really matter? When God chose to communicate with us, His language was that of love. He sent to teach, to show, to embody love. Christ came to be with us, one of us. He seeks; He pursues; He offers; He gives. For God so loved the world … you and I will never meet a person He doesn’t love, doesn’t cherish forever. The language of love … are we speaking His language?

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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