I came across this saying the other day, “Never use a big word when a diminutive one will do.” The wit behind this statement caught my attention. The irony is in knowing the meaning of the word, diminutive. The word means “very small”. The intent of this statement is to speak an absurdity in order to point out the absurd.
While the point was taken, this statement made me ponder. How often do people unknowingly do this very thing? In other words, the very act of what is being done is contrary to the very words that are being spoken. An example of this would be a child telling another one, “You’re a stupid- name-caller and you shouldn’t call people names” or perhaps, someone screaming, “WE DON’T SCREAM IN THIS HOME!!!!” A woman teaching men the passage in I Timothy 2:12 or an unfaithful man counseling men on how to love their wives are examples. All of these statements are counterproductive.
Never use a big word when a diminutive one will do. This is what we do as Christian people when our lifestyle contradicts our very name. Christian – it mean’s Christ-like. The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26). It wasn’t that they were going around calling themselves Christian. The world looked at their lifestyle and said, ‘Those people act just like Christ.’ In light of all of this it made me think. The word “Christian” is thrown around and misused to the point that no one understands its meaning. What if over 80% of Americans didn’t call themselves Christian? What if people didn’t associate the word Christian with someone who just goes to church on Sunday or “claims” to love Jesus? What if you were only called a “Christian” if you only acted like Christ? What if a person was only known as a Christian that only did the things Christ did? Would I then be called a Christian? He is my example and if my lifestyle does not reflect the same lifestyle that Christ lived then I should not be called a Christian. Otherwise, the very name in itself is contradicted. So I search my heart and ask God to reveal His truth to me. Am I striving? Am I reaching forth toward the goal? Am I living a consistent Christian life? Because otherwise why call myself Christian when the word hypocrite will do?
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46