Have you ever thought about how we use words or the nature of language, I mean really thought about it? I’ve started to read a book by a Christian author called The Language of Love, Forgiveness, Faith, Prayer and Healing: How to Walk in Holiness and Harness the Power of Daily Miracles (Timeless Teaching)*, the book looks at how we use language, one of the things that it mentioned was how one word such as love can mean different things to different people. This is obviously true; our idea of love is often based on what we have experienced so when someone who has been abused by a loved one hears this word from another person, they are not hearing the same emotion and same reality as that person who may be saying it to them. We use language to communicate our thoughts, feelings etc. but what happens when our language insufficiently expresses what we want and need it to?
As the book title suggests, the author looks quite closely at the way we communicate love amongst other things. Leon Gosiewksi gives the example of when Yeshua/Jesus asks Peter “do you love me?” and Peter replied “Yes Lord, You know I love You”. On the outside it seems that they are both talking about the same thing, but a closer look shows that there is a communication error occurring and we see this more clearly when we look at the Greek. The Bible says that Yeshua asks of Peter “do you agape me more than these?” and peter responds “Yes, Lord You know that I philo You.”
According to philosophers, theologians, psychologists and such who look into the nature of love it is widely accepted that Agape is the purest and most sacrificial type of love whilst Philo is a lesser form which denotes sentiments of affection and emotion. Yeshua was asking Peter do you love me in 3D Technicolor, whilst Peter was saying yes I love you in my flesh. Yeshua was asking him, Peter are you ready to live out your love for me sacrificially, are you ready to walk and be an embodiment of my love on this earth and Peter was saying yes Lord, I’m willing to love you and be your friend… two totally different meanings and so two totally different realities.
I don’t really want to go into the nature of love, but if you want to hear more about what the author has to say then you can find the book on Amazon. The reason why I brought up the issue of language and communication is because of something that I have been experiencing which really has hit me like an epiphany today. The bible is full of words, approximately 774,500 give or take due to edition being used. The bible is trying to communicate spiritual truths with us through the medium of words and human language, although we read it and often get it, I’m afraid that we really don’t get it! Let me explain.
When I decided to train to be a teacher I told someone that I wanted to work at the same time to save some money, the person who had already completed teacher training looked at me as if I was crazy and said “Teacher training is too hard for you to do anything else alongside it”. It was my turn to look at her as if she was a bit loopy, I heard what she said, I even understood it but my thoughts were “how hard could it be?” You see to me, I knew what hard meant, according to the Oxford English Dictionary when something is hard it can mean several things:
- Something which is solid or firm
- something done with a great deal of force or strength
- something requiring a great deal of endurance or effort
- something very potent or intense
I understood these definitions, I had even experienced hardship before but my knowledge of what was hard and what was soft, lacked depth. It was only when I was in the midst of teacher training that I looked back and thought, “ahh, now I get what she was trying to tell me!” You see our language, the words that we use are often 2-dimensional because we use them in the physical plane, and the physical plane or realm covers our body (behaviours) and elements of our soul (thoughts and feelings). When someone speaks to us with words, and says I’m happy or sad, they are trying to use these words to also convey some kind of activity or truth in the spiritual realm as well. So in essence we are trying to use 2D words to communicate 3D truths.
We know the Bible is spiritual because it’s the word of God but more often than not we approach the Bible as if we are approaching language and words in the physical instead of the spiritual. The words that God uses in the bible may seem like the words we would use in our everyday language but the truth or depth of those words is so much more than we can imagine because God talks in 3D. When God says something is good, you might as well throw out the English dictionary because it’s not going to cover what He’s trying to express to you, when God says something is bad the same thing applies and I’ve been finding this out for myself through a single concept that is used over and over again in the Bible and which should be a theme running through the life of every child of God that of cleansing and sanctification.
Don’t be fooled, they seem like words right? Wrong. These words are alive, they have a spirit, soul and body, these words are 3D. If you take them to mean 2D they still won’t change the reality of what these words mean. Quite recently God has told me that He wants to heal me, I mean really, really heal me, and get rid of all the dross that is in me and He gave me a spiritual truth on what healing looked like and what the process of healing was. I got it, I realised that the healing He was offering me was so much better and so much more than the healing that I had been praying for because now I could visualise what that healing looked like. My prayer changed and I said Father, take me to that place. I know that everything I need and everything I desire is at that place but… I also know that the only way that I can get there is through this process of cleansing and sanctification. Because my prayer has changed I have in a sense given God permission to do what it takes to get me there but ohhhh the pain!
Every morning, I wake up to a random automatically generated bible scripture which all point to the same thing, the need for us to be cleansed and holy unto the Lord. And I get it, really I do, but now that I’m in it I’m realising that these words ‘cleansing and sanctification’ are not the simple 2D words which I thought and hoped that they would be but these words are 3D with the power to crush and break and then renew and rebuild. These words are spirit and have a will of their own to complete the work which the Father has sent them out to do, they cannot and won’t stop because they are from Him and of Him.
I know that this post is getting long and that I should round up so I will conclude but there is so much more that I could say on this but I will leave this for another post. I wrote this post in a sense to reveal the importance of the words contained in the Bible and also to look at the way we use and understand words. I am beginning to see that our ability to communicate with (talk to and understand God) is fundamentally flawed because we are so grounded in our fleshly way of processing language, each word in the bible even the ifs and buts has significance and power, each utterance of God is alive and until we get down past the flesh and bones and into the spirit of the word we will continue to say Philo when God is saying Agape. I hope that this post has blessed and empowered you, it has really blessed and encouraged me just by formulating the words, I’m praying that you will receive the spirit of what I am saying to you as well as the physical .
AV Hb 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Thank you Father for your word of truth.
Be blessed in Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ)
* This is an affiliate link