Learning how to speak fluently in a new language is hard. There’s no way around it. No matter what Rosetta Stone tries to tell you about how easy and convenient it can be for a person to wake up one day and start speaking a new language, it’s hard. For most of us, hours of drill work and memorization are required before anything starts to make much sense.
Learning to speak fluently in a new language is even more difficult because it demands more than drill work and memorization; it requires you to change the way you think. You can’t really speak a language fluently until you learn how to think in it. For example, if you’re in France and you’re trying to have a conversation with the clerk behind the baggage claim desk in the airport about your lost luggage you will hardly have enough time to 1) listen to the French words coming out of the other person’s mouth, 2) translate the French into English in your head, 3) think of an English response, and 4) translate your response into French and speak. Just writing that out is a little exhausting.
Craig Groeschel wrote of the language/thinking relationship and applied the concept to the relationship between our thoughts and our spiritual well-being: “One of the greatest stumbling blocks to spiritual growth emerges when we get stuck in our negative, untrue, and impure thoughts instead of making the translation to the word of God.” Just as a serious student of the French language must learn to think in French, Christians must be serious about learning to think like Christ! Take a look at Romans 12:2 where Paul tells the Romans that they must be transformed by the renewal of their minds. Take a look at 2 Corinthians 10:5 where Paul claims that he takes every thought captive to obey Christ!
If we want to be people who live as if they are truly of Christ, we must learn to start thinking like Him (Phil 2:1 – 11).