September 4th | Loyalty | Message | Mountain View Church
Words are interesting creatures. They can send a person soaring to the most wonderful heights, or bring them crashing to the lowest depths. The Book of James holds a discussion about our tongues and the need to be careful with them, but it’s actually talking about words, and the way we use them to either harm or heal.
Words are interesting for other reasons too—as in the study of them. Words have history, specifically “history of meaning.” For instance, would you be excited if a house guest from England described your house as homely? Well, you should be, because in British English, “homely” means what Americans mean by “homey.” It’s a very warm compliment. Good words can also be ruined. Did you know that the word hussy (one which no one would appreciate being labeled) used to be a happily received compliment? Now considered an insult, it was once a treasured expression for an “excellent housewife.”
A word can also be soiled not just by the natural evolution of language, but by the power associated with it in painful experiences. For instance, the word loyalty is generally seen as a good, even biblical term. But for those who’ve been silenced, held back or held down by the demand for it—especially from a person who proved to be unworthy of it—loyalty can be a word that flares up deep pain from an old wound.
Can that noble word, loyalty be rehabilitated? Is there a working definition that serves not to subjugate, but to inspire and launch instead? Can the whip that is too often in its hand be replaced with a bloom? We’ll dig into that very question