You know those themes that come up repeatedly in your life? The mantras that could be mottos if there weren’t so many of them? I have several themes that recur. “They were looking for a city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God and they knew that they were aliens and strangers on the earth.” “Context.” “Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.” And others. But this is one of the recent themes that keeps coming up. Words matter. And their meanings matter.
In the movie “The Giver,” adult characters frequently use the phrase “precision of language.” It is one our favorite things about the movie, because so often we want to say the same thing. Words have meanings, but our culture uses them carelessly and allows for confusion where clarity is possible. We get annoyed at people who nitpick about word usage, even when such nitpicking is needed to clarify the point. We live like characters from Alice’s Wonderland, where words can mean whatever you want them too.
It makes sense that in a world which holds absolutes in low esteem, especially those stark white absolutes of truth, holiness, righteousness, right, in that world definitions don’t matter. Nor does orthodoxy. Not in that world. But to the Church? That mystical organism that will be presented to Christ as a spotless bride? Truth should matter a lot to her. As should words.
Here is a video that we go back to semi-regularly when the mushiness of language surrounding us gets us down: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OEBZkWkkdZA
And here is a poem I wrote yesterday on the same subject.
The words you speak are powerful,
Proceeding from your heart.
They influence your thinking
Like a horse behind a cart
– As such they merit caution
Lest they pierce with error’s dart.
Of careless words a counting,
So He promised on that day.
I want to be found worthy
So I think, and seek, and pray
That His will be filled in me now
And in everything I say.
Copywrite Jonelle Liddell 2018