Tuesday, September 18, 2012

the other Bible study tool

Remember the game Balderdash? The one where you are given a word and you have to guess its definition among the pile of silly definitions other players invent. The one that has you learn the meaning of words totally useful in every day conversation.

Like jubate. It means covered in long hairs. So the next time you are having a conversation about The Addams Family you can use the word "jubate" for Cousin It. You can thank me later for this essential addition to your vocabulary.

So is Balderdash the other Bible study tool?

Not exactly (that would be balderdash). But the book that provides the definitions to words obscure and common is. The dictionary is number 10 on my list of life-changing books.

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It helped me see that because of the work Jesus did in me, I no longer need to characterize myself as a selfish person. However, I do need to watch out for any niggardly tendencies which cling unwantedly. (BTW, niggardly is a horrible sounding word. I first heard it from my Grandpa and thought he was using a racist term. He wasn't and it isn't, but check out its origins for yourself)

Then God helped gave me a special word to overcome my belief that I displease Him: delight. And while studying Philippians, searching out the definitions to "selfish ambition" led me to a new aspiration: to be earnest. Yesterday's post had me hunting up forbearance, a lovely, majestic-sounding cousin to patience.

For a long time I applied the label rambunctious to our children's very active behavior (the kind which evokes a eyebrows raised, eyes wide and mouth opened in a silent, "Oh. My!"). But then I actually looked the word up and I didn't like its negative connotations. These were not fitting for ones found in Christ! So I hunted up a new way to describe the times our children give full abandon to their joy: exuberant. Much better.

Then there's understanding what God asks us to stop and a trap easy to fall into...gossip. I fall in regularly. Did you know there's a verse about gossip which appears twice in Proverbs word for word? It's here and here. At first, I thought it was a mistake. Surely God didn't put the exact same thing only 10 chapters apart in the same book within the Bible?! But He did. So I guess He really wanted to get His point across.

And, finally, a word within gossip's definition, idle, got me thinking about how I spend my words here and elsewhere. Because if I'm spinning sentences of no real worth, importance or significance, then how could I possibly be fulfilling any of this?

It's why us lovers of Christ must change how we think, how we speak and how we converse with others. It's why the dictionary is critical to understanding God's Word. It's one of the ways we dig deep to discover His heart.

Will you dig with me? What are some words stick in your head or pop out at you? Look them up. It may be God speaking to you in a new way.

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Making it Count: I want these posts to be filled with the worthy, the important, the significant. One of the ways I'll do this is by posting about a social justice issue. Up this week: tomatoes. Or rather, the people who pick them. Click here to find a super simple, super quick way you can help end modern day slavery in Florida's tomato fields.

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings
10 words for Top 10 {Tuesday}: jubate, selfish, niggardly, delight, earnest, forbearance, rambunctious, exuberant, gossip, idle.

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Jenn said...

This is great, Andrea! Definitely the challenge I needed today and one to work on together as a family:)

Stephanie @ CornAndCotton.com said...

Absolutely wonderful post. Thanks for sharing it. (Popped over from Top 10 Tuesday.)

~ Stephanie