Word = used casually for slang as affirmation, acknowledgement, agreement; and indication something has impressed you favorably.
At a recent women’s retreat, some of us stayed up way beyond our usual bedtimes. As we played Scattergories, we got sillier and sillier. Things that weren’t funny became hilarious. Several women ended up with stomach-aches and headaches from laughing so hard. At some point, the word word became the funniest word of the evening.
- “Word!” indicated someone came up with the same word for the same category (and therefore couldn’t be counted).
- “Word!” emphasized a point, particularly when someone won a debate about whether or not a word counted.
- “Word!” declared, “We haven’t laughed in two minutes, so let’s get it started again with our silly word of the night!”
We talked about songs the word word reminded us of, such as Birds the Word and Word Up. I began to wonder about the word word. Apparently, we could all understand what it meant with little context. We spoke a simple word but communicated full phrases and sentences. What is so powerful about word?
I dug a bit to figure out where the slang usage originated. Obviously, we know what a word is, but what about the short expression, “Word!”, which seems to expand into many words when spoken? Apparently, it’s a shortened version of the phrase, “My word is my bond,” which originated by prison inmates. It was shortened to “Word is bond” before being pared to “Word,” which is now the most commonly used. It basically means “truth,” or “to speak the truth.”
Hhmm. Sounds familiar.
In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made by him, and nothing was made without him. In him there was life, and that life was the light of all people. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpoweredit.
There was a man named John who was sent by God. He came to tell people the truth about the Light so that through him all people could hear about the Light and believe. John was not the Light, but he came to tell people the truth about the Light.The true Light that gives light to all was coming into the world!
The Word was in the world, and the world was made by him, but the world did not know him. John 1:1-10
The problem is we’ve come to believe our own words more than the Word. If we believe what we’re saying, we declare “Word” to emphasize truth. We say “Word” so the person listening to us believes our commitment or promise. We say “Word” to convince someone of our truth. I wonder how often we’re trying to convince ourselves as well?
I’m painfully aware that not everyone claims God’s Word as absolute truth. In the short-run, it seems easier to set absolute truth aside. Seeking, finding and living by absolute truth takes effort, discipline and sacrifice. It’s easier to make up our own rules, so we can be comfortable. We can shift what we believe and how we live based on a whim. We can change as our life seasons change.
It might seem easier to live by word. It might seem more comfortable. Sacrificing our own word might seem like the most difficult thing in the world to do. Yielding isn’t easy. Submitting to authority – even recognizing authority – isn’t easy.
Yet in a twist of reality only God can explain and fully understand, living by the Word, God’s Word, is absolute whether we choose it or not. We’re given choice, and we fully embrace choice. We crave choice. We want rights. We fight for options. But our choices don’t negate absolutes. Our choices only acknowledge the reality of absolutes or not. There are consequences to every choice we make, including whether we accept the absolute truth of God’s Word – or not.
I haven’t always chosen it. I’ve declared my own word. I’ve looked within myself and searched for what was “right for me.” I’ve even thought I was comfortable with the process. The problem is something was missing even in the times I thought I had it all together. God created me in his image, which means there are gaps in me that can only be filled with God-shaped pieces, those characteristics of himself that he most wants me to reflect while I’m on this short journey called life.
I’m still learning. I’m still growing.
In the process, I’m replaced word with the Word. I’m declaring Truth. Because of it, I can grow with intentional direction. My growth isn’t depending on what I believe at the time. I don’t grow in one area to discover I no longer believe in what I was working toward. I’m taking intentional steps – wrong steps sometimes, but only on the journey to discovering the steps, the path, of Truth.
Lord, teach me what you want me to do, and I will live by your truth. Teach me to respect you completely. Psalm 86:11