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Four letter words that changed the world

Apr. 19, 2013 @ 09:56 AM

Some of us may recall a day when four-letter words were usually regarded as being offensive and objectionable. Those are words often used by poorly educated people who live on the lowest rung of civil society. It is trash talk at its worst.

They could learn to use four-letter words that offer everything they seek in their ignorance. Dr. John A. Morrison, distinguished college president, author and eloquent public speaker once reminded his hearers, "We are all ignorant, but about different things."

These 18 words that changed the world once and may change your world now if you conduct your life in accordance with the true meaning of each word. Here are 9 of the 18. I invite you to think seriously with me about each word and how it may work effectively in our lives.

1. PRAY: the practice of the heart and mind that puts God to work in our behalf. The disciples of Jesus asked Him, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). Israel Bettan defined prayer as "A direct approach to the throbbing heart of the universe.

2. LOVE: both a powerful noun and verb. Recently Jonathan Secrest delivered a sermon at Teays Valley Church of God titled, "Love is a verb." Love is active. It is something that exists and changes relationships and circumstances.

3. HOPE: is something we must never lose. It is God's infallible purpose in Christ and "This we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast . . ." (Hebrews 6:19).

4. CARE: another word that is something and does something. It is active concern, regard and love. Peter, the big fisherman who had experienced both dismal failure and full acceptance suggested ". . . casting all your care upon Him (Jesus), for He cares for you" (I Peter 5:7).

5. HELP: is to assist, lend a hand, support, boost, promote, rescue and make a difference.

6. HEAL: means to cure, make well, mend, restore. This verb involves the physician, nurse, rest, medicine, the expert assistance of many and our faith in God and confidence is those who help us in the process toward wellness. The Bible is filled with numerous examples of healing.

7. WORK: both a verb and a noun. Oscar Wilde described work as, "The refuge of people who have nothing better to do."

8. PLAY: a noun and a verb like so many important four-letter words. It is something we want to do after work. What is work for some, is play for others. The attitude with which some people approach their work makes it as satisfying and enjoyable as play.

9. FEEL: is a verb that involves touching, experience, handling and enjoying. As a noun, it deals with feeling that is related to perception, understanding, response and emotion. Carl Jung, internationally known Swiss psychiatrist (1875-1961), and founder of analytic psychology, defined feeling as "The unconscious conversation of instinctual impulses."

I invite you to join me in wrapping our mind, relationships and heart around these nine powerful four-letter words. Nine other such words include duty, home, good, kind, pity, rest, seek, live and amen. Think on all these.

Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist who can be reached at P.O. Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560; phone 304-757-6089.