Words and Meaning

nscnksdhfaeuhfowh fhorkphdswelw fwhfew.jf.al    fjakdhhduwewxvsherif ls;;pio  

That’s just ridiculous isn’t it? A row of letters randomly typed with no meaning, just a bunch of jabbering and gibberish. But those same letters can be moved around to create real words.    

neck   dance   if   her   fawn   fade   flower   jade   vex   shade

I’m sure I could pick out a few more but the point is that we have twenty six letters with unlimited potential to be used to change the world…my world…your world…your neighbor’s world…the world down the street and the one on the other side of the globe.  

Words, and what they mean, are important.  Sometimes we hear a word and think we know what it means but in reality we really just know the connotation that has shaped our current society’s understanding of the word. Over time a word will have a specific definition that is somehow lost or overrun with the cultural use of the word.    

Take the word gay for example.  The word originally meant happily excited or bright and lively. But obviously that is not how the word is used today.  

IMG_0016 1 (1)

Another such word is meek. We hear that word and probably think of someone who is extremely quiet, easily coerced or run over. And if not exactly a coward at least a pacifist. We equate meekness with weakness.         

If that truly is our understanding of the word then I think we can file it under the I-don’t-think-that-word-means-what-you-think-it-means category. It doesn’t help that most definitions reduce its meaning down to a lack of a willingness to fight or be assertive.   But I think that if we look at the word from a Biblical perspective we will find something much different. The real meaning is embodied by Christ who is our example and we would certainly not say that he was weak or deficient in any way.  

There are two ways the word meek is translated in the Greek. One is prautes which has the connotation of a total lack of self interest. It is a willingness to submit oneself for the good of others. It is the complete opposite of self-will  and can you think of a single greater act of meekness than Christ and the cross?  

Another component to this word in the Greek is praus which is the idea of showing patient restraint ~ someone who is able to remain calm even with great provocation to respond otherwise. Is there any better example of this than Christ standing before Pilot? With one word the wrath of heaven could have come crashing down on all of mankind yet God chose meekness as the means of carrying out His plan restoration.  

It fairly boggles the mind to think of the word meek in that way. When we are called to meekness we are not being called to cower and give way to the other guy out of fear. We are instead called to act on behalf of others and to stand firm with resolve and courage. We stand with the conviction and strength of Christ as our model.  

2021 is already shaping up to be a humdinger of a year. May we meet all of its challenges embodying the meekness of Christ in all that we do.  

 

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