The Words That We Use
Language is important. It is one of the many things that separate us from the animal kingdom. We might share something like 99% of DNA with our ape friends but that 1% or so difference is what matters. It allows us to communicate complex ideas using a complex code called language. It even allows us to create many hundreds of these codes so that as you traverse the globe we call Earth, you can pick up on a cacophony of language. Being able to utilise words means that we can paint pictures in our imaginations that, if done right, can be more vivd and spectacular than even the best paintings. We can convey the experiences that we have had in our lives to others so that they can share them with us and if stimulated enough go out and get their own version of that experience.
Politicians use words and language to convey promises to us and convince us why we should vote or follow them. (Ahem). Words are powerful things, and I suspect we should take more care than we do in how we use them.
One aspect of words and the way we use them that I find interesting is their origins. It is why I have a Strong’s Hebrew and Greek concordance installed on my Bible reader App. I can go to the original word in a particular scripture and look up its original meaning or the root word from which the word used by the writer originated. It well worth the investment if you have any inclination towards in-depth Bible study and can help open up whole new meanings of Gods word to you.
I am also intrigued by the origin of words that we use in everyday life today. one example, merely to illustrate the point you understand is something like the word “bender” or more accurately its use in sentences such as “They went on a bender”. Now for the benefit of all you good clean living Christian people out there who may not be aware, such a phrase is often used to describe the experience of going out and drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverage. (How do I know this? Google is such a wonderful source of information if used correctly!) Ahem.
Anyway, the use of the word in a certain context gives it a totally different meaning to what one may find in the dictionary. (Although Chambers English Dictionary does have this definition in it as it’s second definition for the word Bender and identifies it as a slang term). What this shows however is that language is an ever-changing evolving beast!
So what? Well I have referred in other posts to the power of words and Saint John’s use of the term The Word in relation to Jesus, so I will not repeat that here. But I am intrigued with how we use certain words as believers without a second thought. The two main ones that I think of that we use in daily lives without a second thought are “lucky” & “fortunate”.
No big deal I hear you say? (Well I don’t actually hear you say, but I do have this image in my mind’s eye of you shrugging your shoulders in disappointment (Possibly)). What of it? Well I was wondering, why as believers in God and Jesus specifically we constantly fall back on the usage of these words in our daily lives. After all, luck and fortune have nothing to do with our situation at all.
Turning to our trusty dictionary once again it defines these words thus:
luck /luk/ noun
• Good fortune
• An object with which a family’s fortune is supposed to be bound up
ORIGIN: Prob LGer or Du luk; cf Ger Glück prosperity
[Chambers Dictionary (iOS) © Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd.]
And Fortune it defines Thus:
• Whatever comes by lot or chance
• The arbitrary ordering of events
• The lot that falls to one in life
• A prediction of one’s future
• A great accumulation of wealth
• A large amount of money (informal)
• An heiress (obsolete)
• intransitive verb (obsolete)
• To befall
• transitive verb (obsolete)
• To determine the fortune of
• forˈtunate adjective
• Happening by good fortune
• forˈtunately adverb
• In a fortunate way, by good luck
• I’m glad to say or happy to report
[Chambers Dictionary (iOS) © Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd.]
But what of it? You may be asking yourself once again. Well the Bible teaches us that all good things proceed from God. And what do we know about God? That He is omniscient and omnipresent. The He “foreknows” everything. So for the believer chance, luck and good fortune has nothing to do with us. God is in control, anything good that befalls us He knows about it beforehand, anything bad that befalls us He knows about it beforehand, anything of an indifferent nature that befalls us, He knows about it beforehand.
What we have are God’s promises, such as
2 Corinthians 1:20
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.
AND of course the famous Romans verses:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
I could go on but I think this selection of verses from The Bible shows that we are in safe hands and do not have to rely on things such as luck, we are not lucky, neither are we fortunate, but we are blessed!
Its a small thing in many respects but in my everyday life I try not to use words such as lucky or fortunate, instead I try to use blessed.
Because in today’s world it is different. People don’t expect to be blessed, they expect to be lucky. They do the lottery in the hope they are lucky enough to guess the 6 numbers necessary to win the jackpot. They go to Bingo in the hope that they are fortunate enough to get a full house. They place a bet on the Horses or the dogs, hoping that the form of the animal and it’s past performance with their own judgement will make it lucky enough for them to win. People hope that they will be lucky enough not to be victim to crime, or be fortunate enough not to fall ill or catch some incurable disease, they hope that their lot in life will be a pleasant one, that any coincidences they experience will be happy ones, that they will not befall to any accidents that might hurt or injure them.
But we, those of us who are brothers and Sisters in Christ, we have so much more. Re-read those scriptures above if you need to. We have Gods provision, we have God’s promises, We have God’s blessing, we have God’s strength and we have God’s word to guide and teach us. How BLESSED are we?
My hope, my prayer is that in just this small way, if I use a term like “I am blessed” it will raise a question in someone’s mind. It will make their ear’s prick up in interest, it will drive them to ask more about being blessed and subsequently the faith that I have in our great God that provide’s for all my needs. A bit like the mighty Oak that grows from the tiny Acorn, we should look to these small ways that can and I pray, do make a difference.