I have a love/hate relationship with words and language.  I’m really a mathematician.  Words, and structuring them into a sentence (as you’d know if you could see all the red squiggly lines as I type) are really not my thing.  And annoyingly one of the symptoms of my illness is that I often struggle to find the word I need (again if you knew how long I hovered over words trying to find the right one…).  But we need words if we are ever going to be understood by anyone else.

Language is important. A stray letter that changes meaning; a regional word that others don’t understand; where one word has several meanings, or different spellings with the same pronunciation.  A trip somewhere speaking a different language soon alerts you to the importance of being able to understand what others are saying.

Language is unimportant.  The niceties, the semantics – the quibbling over words and meanings.  Arguments over grammar and punctuation. A meaningless exercise as long as we can get the gist of what someone else is saying.

2 Timothy 2:8-15 (CEV)

Keep your mind on Jesus Christ! He was from the family of David and was raised from death, just as my good news says. And because of this message, I am locked up in jail and treated like a criminal. But God’s good news isn’t locked in jail, 10 and so I am willing to put up with anything. Then God’s special people will be saved. They will be given eternal glory because they belong to Christ Jesus. 11 Here is a true message:

“If we died with Christ,
    we will live with him.
12 If we don’t give up,
    we will rule with him.
If we deny
    that we know him,
he will deny
    that he knows us.
13 If we are not faithful,
    he will still be faithful.
Christ cannot deny
    who he is.”

An Approved Worker

14 Don’t let anyone forget these things. And with God as your witness, you must warn them not to argue about words. These arguments don’t help anyone. In fact, they ruin everyone who listens to them. 15 Do your best to win God’s approval as a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed and who teaches only the true message.

Paul tells Timothy,

you must warn them not to argue about words

Words don’t matter.  Arguing over words, meanings, the order of them is not important.  What matters is our actions.  Not what we say – we can all construct a beautiful sentence or argument if we need to – it doesn’t necessarily mean anything unless we back it up.  We might think it puts on a good impression, but do our words mean what they say?  How we behave shows what is really in our hearts.  Our work shows the truth of our lives.  We can no longer hide behind an artificial construct, or carefully built arguments.  How we get our hands dirty shows our true message.  That is what God is looking at.

It’s easy enough to talk the talk, do we walk the walk to go with it?

We need to keep our eyes and mind on Jesus.  To be living his way.

it is easy to big myself up,
put on a good show,
say all the right things…

But do I back that up
with how I behave?
The things that I do?
In my actions,
not just my words?

Forgive me Lord,
when I judge others by their words,
their accents,
their grammar.
May I remember that it is not words that count
– but actions;
in me as well!

May my words,
and my actions
“I love you”

~ by pamjw on October 9, 2013.

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