Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

In many ways, our attitude and behavior is shaped by how we define words. Not just by words we speak and hear but what we believe these words mean.

History is filled with examples of problems caused because of misunderstandings about definitions. This also is a problem in our daily lives. These kinds of misunderstandings have led to wars. The breakup of friendships. Splits in churches. The failure of business deals. Conflicts in families.

This is why it is so important that we seek to know what other people really mean. This is why lawyers spend so much time crafting contracts. Why legislators develop bills filled with details. These specialists realize the importance of trying to make meanings clear.

This also is central to our spiritual lives. How easily we can misinterpret God’s Word. There is no clearer example than when God commanded to Saul to “utterly destroy” the Amalekites.

But Saul chose to re-interpret this directive according to his own ideas. He spared the “best” and justified his actions, believing “I have carried out the command of the LORD.” He did not realize that he had failed. But he was demonstrating that he could not be trusted. For God was looking for people who faithfully kept His Word.

Satan knows that we can be vulnerable. He seeks to twist God’s Word with his own meanings (which may seem plausible), and then seduce us into believing him, as he did when tempting Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-7).

Make sure that you are sensitive to the meaning of the words you use. And make it a priority to seek the true meaning of God’s Word. Ask Him to help you be a good listener, to Him, and to others.