The words we use to describe something directly determines how others perceive what we describe.
The more specific we are with our words, the clearer our meaning becomes, and those listening gain a brighter understanding of our meaning.
- If someone says that your baby is cute, you wouldn’t respond with, “It was a good delivery.” Referencing the delivery doesn’t communicate the joy and happiness a parent feels about their new baby.
- When describing a painting that hangs in your house, you wouldn’t say, “The best part is the wire we used to hang it.” The hanger-wire has nothing to do with the painting.
- When complimented on a wonderful meal, you wouldn’t say, “It’s a pretty good stove, older, but still functional.” The stove’s age and function wasn’t the point of the compliment.
We often don’t say what we mean. We often use word pictures that are clear to the speaker but seem as a foreign language to the hearer.
A CASE IN POINT
It’s been suggested that men speak sequentially and women speak conceptually. For example, a husband might ask, “Honey, do you need anything from the store?” And a wife might respond with, “We’re having French Toast for breakfast Friday.”
In less than a second she processed his rather pedestrian question and leapt to what was important, that she needed some maple syrup. But she didn’t ask for syrup.
The husband heard her reply, which left him scratching his head. He either has to figure out what she meant or has to ask, “What do you mean?”
He’s just a man going to the store. He is thinking about the list and has no concept of French Toast Friday. Does he need to add:
This assumes he has a working knowledge of French Toast.
NOW FOR SOME SPIRITUAL VALUE
In chapter one of John’s gospel, it mentions that God grants us the right to be born again, to become his children. John gave these four qualifiers:
- Born not of natural decent
- Nor of human decision
- Nor of a husband’s will
- But born of God
What did John mean? He offered no word pictures; he gave no commentary. Was he speaking conceptually, specifically, or symbolically?
I believe John was teaching that becoming a child of God:
- Doesn’t happen because you’re of the right race, nationality, or family.
- Doesn’t happen because someone gives their permission.
- Doesn’t happen because a husband decides for his wife.
Being born again is all about God and the believer, and that’s all.
Language can be confusing. Sometimes there’s symbolism and sometimes there’s specific meaning. Our words matter. What scripture teaches matters.
Be sure of this:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”