Language has a way of defining our situation.
With words we paint a picture of what we experience. Words can tell of the heartaches and joys. Words describes the world around us. Maybe we need a dictionary at time, but once we grasp a meaning then we join the speaker in visually painting the picture seen from memory or experience.
Example: Let the speaker say “azure” and we think of a bright blue and cloudless sky. In fact, that’s how one dictionary defines the word. Unless you are blind, or color blind, then you can simply recall such a day and associate the word to your own experience.
Our words speak to our lives.
Our words speak from our minds.
Our words are important.
A scripture came to mind this morning as I was thinking about how we describe ourselves to others. The Apostle Paul had been arrested and is in the long march of imprisonment from his country to Rome. He is brought before King Agrippa and he utters this phrase, “I think myself happy….” (Acts 26:2) Now. Happiness means something different to each of us. When we feel happy it’s generally due to a pleasant experience or memory that changes our outlook and expression on life.
A scientist, or someone smarter about certain things than you and I, may try to describe where the feeling of happiness comes from.
Serotonin is sometimes called the happiness hormone. Serotonin regulates the mood, prevents depression and makes you feel happy. … On the other hand, Dopamine helps you to feel mentally alert. The lack of it might cause lack of attention, lack of concentration and bad moods.
While it is true that there are hormonal and chemical reasons why we respond to life the way we do, there is also another way of thinking about life in such a way that we manufacture the feelings that are commonly associated with the word happy.
Paul said, “I think…” and in the original language this word is associated with an internal mechanism of controlling your mind over the situation. Other translations says it like this: “I consider…”, “I esteem…”, “In my opinion…”, “I count myself…”
Get the drift? There is such a thing as being in control of how you think about something so that you can see a different picture than what your circumstances may say. And it is perhaps that Paul’s personality forces him down this path, but it could also be him in control and seeing better things about his current lot in life.
It may only be semantics, or word mechanics, that makes me think like this, but I am often a personality that hopes to see the good in what’s happening around me. Some focus on the negative. I want to focus on the positive. I may have some internal struggles with describing the better viewpoint, but it’s definitely the way I lean.
I think Paul was like this. It is in his writings in multiple places that he looks for the positive.
- And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NKJV)
- But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. (Philippians 3:7 NKJV)
- Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. (1 Timothy 6:1 NKJV)
There was a man that attended a bible study I taught at one of my jobs a few decades ago. For nearly 3 years he would arrive before everyone else bemoaning the current state of the world. For 3 years! Nearly every time I would say something like, “Well, the bible says it’s supposed to get worse before it gets better.” He would cock his head, think about it a moment, and then say, “You got a point.” and his entire focus would change on a dime…
Maybe we need to have more vocalization around that can speak positive into the negative world we live in. Not that we are trying to mask the bad, but are straining to keep the conversation positive and flowing to a better outcome.
Maybe that’s you… You are not alone… Praying for you!