And it’s important that we do make an effort, if we are trying to become more like Jesus and less like the mould that the World would like to force us into. Here’s one for you young ‘uns to set a good example to the rest of us:
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
Our speech is one of our main interfaces with the World. Is our speech as clean as it could be?
“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Matthew 15:17-19)
So, moving on to another aspect of our speech, the use of certain words in common parlance. Read on …
The World is not as mysterious as it once was. Until our scientific age started digging away at the foundations, God was very much seen at the centre of all aspects of life. Of course this may have led us into making incorrect conclusions about the mechanisms that control our lives and our World, but they got it right in that God is still very much at the centre of our lives. Here’s a good example.
Strokes these days kill or disadvantage thousands of people. It is described as a rapid loss of brain function due to the lack of blood reaching it. Of course we know that now, but we haven’t always known that. In fact the word itself comes from the phrase, “a stroke of God’s hand”, attributing a divine cause to the condition. Interesting and curiously apt, as God has His hand on every aspect of our lives, whether we choose to believe this or not.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139:9-10)
After all, don’t doctors still say, as both a comfort and an admission that they have done all they can, according to their knowledge, “It’s in God’s hands now”? They probably don’t mean what they say, but that doesn’t diminish the power of the concept.
Now there’s another set of words that we use all of the time but tend to make me feel very uncomfortable. Here are a few sentences that illustrate this:
You’re a lucky man! How fortunate you are! What are the chances?
We’ve all said these things, they are so tightly knitted in our everyday banter. Yet, when we look at the origin of these words …
Fortuna was the Roman goddess of luck, fate and fortune and the daughter of the chief god, Jupiter. She had temples dedicated to her and owned the wheel of fortune (now a TV game show), that she spun randomly to determine the fate of individuals. If you are fortunate, then Dame Fortune is surely smiling at you. A lucky person is surely in league with Lady Luck!
What are we really saying when we use these words? Is there a sense of invoking these pagan deities or at least acknowledging the power behind what seems to be random forces? Or is it a load of old nonsense and we shouldn’t worry about it?
Whatever way you view it, perhaps, as Christians, our everyday language should reflect our beliefs. One word that ought to be used more is blessing, though it may seem a touch sanctimonious if over-used.
You’re a blessed man! How blessed you are!
Perhaps there are words we can derive from the fruits of the Spirit?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Do you have other alternative sanctified words that we can use? If so, please get in touch, it would be such a blessing.
So, what’s the point of all of this? It’s just that what may seem trivial and irrelevant to us may actually not be so, but even irreverent to Him whom we love and follow. Isn’t the point of loving someone (or Someone), the act of taking time to find out if you are pleasing or displeasing Them? Yes, there has been over three millennia since Moses came down that mountain with those stone tablets, and yes, we are living in New Covenant days, but if God instructed the Hebrews not to take His name in vain then, should that not also be so for Christians today?
The next time you accidently hit your thumb with a hammer, meditate for a moment before your exclamation (as if!). Here are a few options you have that don’t involve blasphemy or obscenity: oh dear, deary me, ouch, that hurts! Controversially, it may even be “spiritually correct” to utter a quick f***, s*** or b*******, rather than taking the Lord’s name in vain.
The choice is yours. Use it wisely. ;-)
Is our speech as clean as it could be?
Written by: Miriam Emenike
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