A Form of Godliness

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

William Strunk Jr. passionately believed in the power of words. Yet he observed that many people were crippled because they did not know the rules of language. Far more than just subjective matters or personal opinions, these rules were essential if people wanted to communicate effectively.

Born in Cincinnati on this day in 1869, he enjoyed a long career as an educator. During more than 40 years teaching English at Cornell University, he observed firsthand the results when students failed to understand how to use language correctly.

In 1918, these concerns inspired him to write a book called, The Elements of Style. This was so successful that soon it was used by other schools and became a standard for students and professionals. The book is still used today.

Strunk stressed the importance of form, teaching rules such as “use the active voice,” and “put statements in a positive form.” He felt it was important to be concise, saying that “a sentence should contain no unnecessary words.”

In spite of these efforts, many still failed to grasp these principles and paid the price throughout their careers. At the same time, others focused excessively on rules but lacked enthusiasm and passion.

The battle between form and substance also applies to the spiritual realm. The Bible reminds us that knowing the rules of life is important. Yet we can become excessively attached to forms, like the “form of godliness.” This means that we can focus on rituals and rules without having a dynamic relationship with God.

In your life, don’t settle for a superficial faith. Seek to have an intimate relationship with the living God. Don’t limit Him or deny His power. He is sovereign. He can do anything.