Thursday, January 16th, 2014
Gloomy, laughable, majestic, radiance, hurry, generous, frugal, critical, courtship, zany, undress, rant. A dozen words you use in conversation and communication all the time. Nouns, verbs and adjectives that fill our speech without a thought. But until the middle of the sixteenth-century, they were unknown and unspoken — until William Shakespeare came along and invented them. That’s right, the most brilliant writer of English history simply made up words. At least he was the first to write and officially use them. “Majestic” he took from “majesty,” meaning “greatness.” “Critical” came from the Latin “frugi” meaning “honest.” And so on.
But the invented words of the Bard of Avon isn’t the only occasion that we use words in common speech without understanding their origin and significance. Here are a few examples:
REPENT – It is used casually as a vague reference to feeling sorry for actions. But the biblical sense of repenting is far more serious, beyond mere contrition. The KJV Bible didn’t invent the word but gave it new force as an expression of a conscience-smitten decision to change and avoid the judgment of God.
ATONE – In popular reference it is a way of making amends. In the Bible it’s far more serious. Christ atoned for our sins; He paid the price for our rebellion and it cost Him His life on the cross.
SANCTIFY – Once again, the term has been dumbed-down in everyday usage to mean respect. But its theological intent speaks of the sacred act of consecrating something, such as our lives, to the Lord.
Inventing words is a unique art. Changing what words really mean can be spiritually dangerous if one invents a meaning that loses theological significance.
An encouraging word: WATCH YOUR WORDS
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21 KJV). This verse has been over-applied and misapplied by prosperity preachers, but that doesn’t demean its significance to what we say. This is especially true in the family. What spouses say to each other and parents say to their children is significant. Many times I’ve counseled an adult in mid-life who was wounded by the caustic comments of a parent (“You’ll never amount to anything!”). Wounding words set the tone for later bad decisions that were driven by the fulfillment of the negative prediction. Watch your words and speak life and hope to those you love.
Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus Did� (Luke 4:18). You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action by calling 303-980-1511 or clicking here to donate online.