words too big

I wrote this many, many, many years ago and just found it on my computer…

Something I believe has been lost somewhere in time is the power and utter meaning of words, or even one word. C.S. Lewis sums up my thoughts:

“Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”

The word “love” is used in many more ways than any other word I can think of. For instance, a boy and a girl in middle school have some sense of love and care and they say, “I love you.” Two teenagers in high school have a better understanding of dating relationships and they say, “I love you” and probably mean it in some way. A guy and girl in college have been through relationships in the past and know what they are really looking for in a relationship. They say, “I love you.” A man and woman marry and live an example of Christ’s love for the church. The “the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.” The man tells his wife he loves her. But what is the difference between his word “love” and the 7th grader’s infatuation? Looking in from the outside, there should clearly be a separate word that this man should use to tell his wife how he feels. Or should the word only be used to describe true love?

You go see a movie and when later asked your opinion, you reply, “It was awesome!” At church on Sunday you sing about an Awesome God. Again, looking in, these obviously should be separate words. This movie has no comparison to Christ, yet the same exact word is used to describe both.

It’s about lunch time and you are ready to grab a bite to eat. The conversation most likely starts with “I’m hungry” or “I’m starving.” Some child in a third world country has not had a bite to eat in “forever,” and they are hungry and starving.

“It’s been forever since I’ve seen that show.” “I’ll spend forever in Heaven.” Our use of the word forever to describe a period of a month to years turns the word into a finite period of time.

“I hate bugs.” The Lord hates sin. I would rather not have bugs and could live without bugs, but they are not a direct offense to who I am. God hates sin. I hate bugs. God’s passion is lessened due to my expression of how much I dislike bugs.

So consider C.S. Lewis’s words… and take your words into consideration.

3 Responses to “words too big”

  • As one who writes poems I find your thesis to be a bit of a challenge, yet one that shall improve the though I wish to impress. So shall we not be so concerned about how express ones self or more caring about how one impresses another? This is the new politically correct way of saying you done a really good job with this post and I like it a lot, for we have dumbed down words we us. God Bless, James

    • I appreciate your comments! To think that I describe God with the same words I use to describe “things” is a challenging thought.

  • God’s passion is in Christ and not effected by carnal characteristics.

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