|Newer versions translate the word ‘conversation’ as ‘lifestyle’ or ‘citizenship’. Why? Because a person’s citizenship — be he English, French, or Australian — can be readily identified through his conversation, through the way he speaks. The same is true spiritually, for Scripture declares that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). What is your conversation, your lifestyle, your citizenship? It will be revealed in the heat of battle ...
After civil war had broken out between the men from Gilead and the men from Ephraim, Jephthah, leader of the Gileadites, ordered his men to seal the passes lest the Ephraimites get away.
‘But how will we identify them?’ asked his men. ‘They’re our brothers.’
‘Tell them to say the word ‘river’, or ‘shibboleth’, said Jephthah.
Because the men from Ephraim could not pronounce the sound of ‘sh’. Thus, instead of ‘shibboleth’, they said ‘sibboleth’ — and were immediately betrayed by their speech (Judges 12).
The same holds true for you and me. In the heat of battle, how do we talk? When the accountant says, ‘You’re bankrupt’; when the doctor says, ‘It’s cancer’; when your boyfriend says, ‘Goodbye’, what do we say? Our speech, our conversation will reveal whether we’re men and women who live for the material, the temporal, the earthly — or whether we are those who live for Heaven singularly.