Face-to-face speech is the best way to communicate. We get to see facial expressions, body language and look for the truth in one another’s eyes. It does help when we speak the same language, but language changes over time, between regions and with culture.
We had a minister forty years ago, speaking to a primarily blue-collar audience, who told us we needed to be eleemosynary. I had no idea what that word meant – but I was determined to look it up. It took a while because I had no idea how it was spelled. I thought it might be the opposite of animosity since we were encouraged to have it.
I thought of it again during a meeting where I was asked if I had been able to obtain information necessary for a report. “There’s a veritable dearth of information from the field,” I said, and my audience responded with blank looks. The word that to me meant “a lack, scarcity or inadequate supply” to me was unknown to my co-workers.
All of this just to say that words often take a lot of explanation, even though they seem simple to someone who knows them. The same goes for what we see as simple concepts. They may sound ridiculous to others, unless more information is shared. Which is why there are almost 2,000 blogs I’ve posted to this website.
Oh, I have one that “explains” what I believe, but I’ve written hundreds more, each different, each quoting scriptures, sharing differing viewpoints but all with one goal – telling people how much God loves us, how much I love God and I learn more about Him through His word.
Why in the world would that be important? Why would it make any difference to me what another person believes? It all comes down to the most quoted verse – not only on my blog – that speaks of a gift and love:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)
That’s not without a condition, though. We can’t take the first part of the verse and separate it from the second. And, we can’t take God out of the verse, either. Without God, love is a fleeting desire. When we accept Him, we must learn what He has revealed in His word and what is applicable in our lives. We need to understand verses such as:
Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment? (Malachi 2:17 KJV)
Basically, Malachi is describing a people who not only do evil and call it good (much as today) but they delight in doing it and sarcastically say “Where’s God’s judgment?” Later, Malachi records what God gave him about judgment:
And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:5 KJV)
I do not look at another person’s words/actions and say, “They are wrong!” I do see another’s word/s actions, look for God’s suggestions/commandments and say, “Based on the Bible, for me to do that would be wrong.” I’d better be able to cite chapter and verse, too. I’d better be able to explain what it means to me in ordinary speech, easily understood, open and truthful as it applies to me.
Bottom line, read His word while asking Him to show how it applies to you. I can’t do that, even for those I love. I simply pray that I use understandable words that have meaning to others.