We are all familiar with the saying, “sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.”
I think many of you will agree that this is a lie that has destroyed many young lives. As children, and later on as adults, we hear things that can terribly hurt. The truth is, sometime it would be easier to be physically broken than to be mentally broken by the words spoken over, at, and to us.
Maybe that is why, in addition to my profession as a technical communicator, that words are so important to me. A friend once told me, “you are confusing,”
“Why,” I asked.
“Because you mean what you say and you say what you mean.”
I was stunned, how could that be confusing? But she went on to explain that this is not how most people communicate.
Well, I could understand that. Having worked among Chinese people for over 20 years, I have seen that the hardest thing for them is to let their yes be yes and their no be no. Theirs is a culture where it simply is not polite to say “no” and so they have numerous and varied ways for saying yes in such a manner that others will know if they mean yes, no, or maybe. I asked a Chinese lady once how she could tell the difference. “I can’t explain,” she responded. “It’s hard for us to explain to ourselves!”
Over the past few months, my Bible studies have led me to focus on different words. Sometimes in my private reading a particular word will jump out at me. Is this really what was meant? And so I look up the Hebrew or the Greek and try to get a better grasp on what is being shared.
I am going to be posting a topic blog post once a week over the coming weeks, and hope that you will enjoy, with me, the wonderful power of words we can discover in the Scripture.
To start out, I’d like to focus on one small word: “word” in Hebrew.
In modern Hebrew the word for a word is “mila” (מִלָה). When you study Hebrew you will gain a vocabulary of words (מלים) and learn the different parts of speech.
However, in Biblical Hebrew, you don’t find the word mila used much. Instead you will see the word “dvar” (דָָבָר) used. But in modern Hebrew, dvar means “thing, something, matter, affair, object,” and oh, by the way, it can mean “word.”
When you read about the Word of God in the Old Testament, this phrase is “dvar” of God. If you’ve read my book you will know that gaining an understanding of this word marked a turning point in my walk with God. It marked the moment that I understood how solid, unmovable, unchangeable God’s word is, and how Jesus really is God because, as we are told in the book of John, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
The Word of God is the word above all words. His WORD is what heals our hearts and our diseases and makes us whole. His word changes us, and has the power to overcome the wounds and bruises of the words of this world.
I hope you will enjoy the coming meditations on words and that you will be as encouraged as I am.
To learn more about the Word of God, take the time to meditate on [biblegateway passage=”Psalm 119:89″], [biblegateway passage=”Genesis 1: 9,11,14″], and [biblegateway passage=”John 1: 1–5, 14″].