It only takes 10 seconds to check your Facebook feed and realize something is going on. Everyone starts talking, voicing their own opinions, yet they all seem to use the same words. Right now the key words to controversy are hate, racism, white, black, democrat, liberal, bigot, and a few random phrases thrown around that are supposed to mean something but are just empty words.
It hurts to see us all up in arms, throwing insults, and accusing one another. Especially when we really don’t comprehend what our words mean and what power of divisiveness and dissension they can have. I think it’s vital to the survival of rational thinking in our society to define terms and choose our words carefully.
Words are important to me. Therefore, the misuse and abuse of them bugs me more than an OCD person at an asymmetrical fashion show.
But, beyond society and how we humans correspond and interact with one another, understanding words has a profound impact upon our relationship and study of God. When reading the Bible, particularly when I run across a passage that is often misinterpreted, has multiple possible interpretations, or is used as an argument against a certain belief I may hold, I trace back the words. Not just the words themselves, but the uses, the original languages and how those words translated from their Greek or Hebrew origins to the languages of the people reading them; In an effort to gain the most accurate knowledge I know how of what was meant by what was said, how the reader would’ve understood and received it, and in what context it was given: both for the purpose of the letter and the history and circumstances surrounding its writing.
I’ve had more than enough conversations/arguments over the misuse of a word, or someone saying a word they didn’t actually mean, or saying a word they didn’t understand than I’ve had about anything else. The greatest communication divide is always over something that was missaid or misinterpreted. So let’s just be clear about what we say and what we do. Good intentions are just intentions unless they’re paired with good actions. What you say speaks volumes about who you are, so be careful what words you use and how you use them. If not us, then who will know what we are really saying? Just a thought…
As always, thanks for reading.
—the anonymous novelist