The Power of Words


The Power of Words

How god's word is the cause,

and our word is to affect. 

In September, we will focus on the power and importance of words.

          Now, this won’t be a comparison of big words like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, versus small words like no. Rather, I’ve been reflecting upon the dynamic range, motivational ability, and the greater social impact of words.

This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
— Matthew 9:9-12, NIV

          For example, some words are spoken as a tradition. Think of the words we sing at a birthday party or before a baseball game. What about the words we expect to hear at a wedding? Most of us have decided that these words were so meaningful to so many that they are now a ubiquitous expectation.

           Of course, not all common words are so commonly meaningful. How many of us have ignored the option to read the ‘terms and conditions,’ junk email, or the instructions for assembling furniture? I cannot tell you how many times I have picked up a novel with every intention of finishing it, only to put it down midway and never return.

              Here is my point. We have all fallen into certain bad habits with words and we often bring those same bad habits with us when we read God’s word. For example, when was the last time we considered the wonderful words in scripture that surround the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew chapter 6? Or how many of us have skipped over the long genealogy of Jesus because that is just too many names in one list? Perhaps it's another bad habit that we are not even aware of committing. 

There are many different parts of speech used in scripture that frame and enrich scripture.

                I think we can all agree that we should bring greater care and attention to reading God’s word. After all, there are many different parts of speech used in scripture that frame and enrich scripture. So, it would be to our benefit to know these different kinds of speech and to practice recognizing them. Consider these for example:

·         speaking from different perspectives, (unique viewpoints)

·         making demands versus requests (tone and context)

·         teaching in private compared to public speech (the original intended audience)

·         speaking on behalf of someone else versus yourself (narration or self-representation)

·         Hyperbolic language and exaggeration (literal versus metaphors or parables)

·         Circumstances of the speaking event (around the dinner table or before an audience)

             So, in September we will practice looking through several chapters of the Gospel of Mark and considering which parts of speech are being used. After all, the right understanding of God’s word at the right time can make all the difference in our lives and the lives of others. After all, our hope and trust are rooted in God’s word! Let us look closer at God’s word this September! May God bless and keep you.  

Ross JudyComment