As I was doing my library studies, I took the opportunity to look at the great reference work called the Oxford Dictionary. Each word contained some explanation of where that jumble of letters originated. Some words seemed to ooze out of the ground in primordial days. Other words were relatively new. Oxford experts were assigned to follow and assess current usage of words that were not yet in the dictionary. With an often misguided idea that change is slow and gradual.
With texts and ebooks and memes and Facebook and LinkedIn and . . . people are reading more and writing more than they ever have. To accompany this trend, there are constantly new aberrations of the “olde” language. 4U and for me, this means having to constantly learn a language that spills out new every morning.
For a moment of reflection.
When you reshape words into new definitions, you create personal and societal insecurity.
Often a new definition of a word arises out of an attempt to gather the old word’s noble qualities and attach them to the new definition.
In this attempt, there is a possible explosion of lies and deceit – in order to gain power and authority. By masking a word with what sounds good to the public, words can actually be reshaped to turn a previous evil into a perceived good. We sense there is something wrong but can’t immediately pinpoint the lie.
And in the end, we are left seeking for truth.
Jesus encountered this redefining of terms by those in the current administration. Finally he was just plain blunt about the reshaping of language by the religious elite for their own gain. Interestingly he retorted with – You say/but I say.
And then the clincher! Imagine how he stirred up the crowd by saying, “I am the truth.” Imagine how deeply he stirred up commitment in his followers.
No wonder Christians continue to be on the cutting edge of societal change. No wonder Christians continue to be persecuted. No wonder Christians continue to love God and love others. All words of truth that Jesus spoke.
Look at the horizon that a Christian sees – and all you will see is Jesus.