Lessons From Expert Feelers (Part 3.1) Use words

1 06 2010

I’m back!  Woohoo!  Prepare for a series of blog posts that will totally blow your mind and alter your view of all of creation!  Let’s begin.

"I am John Locke. And I think it is important for you to learn about your feelings."

Ok, to recap what I’ve been writing about (for those of you who like outlines):

I. What are we supposed to do with our emotions?

A. Identify them

B. Feel them. (Like the Mouk tribe in the video I shared.)

1. Take time to pay attention to your emotions.

2. Use your body to “embody” your emotions.

3. Use your words to articulate your emotions.

C. Express them.

So, currently we’re on B-3: Use your words.  Get ready…  This is exciting!

Why are words important?  I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU ASKED THAT!!!  Words are SO important!

I’m going to get all philosophical up in here again…

[Enjoy the ride, folks.  I’m going to get around to talking about emotions again in a few posts.  But what I’m going to talk about here actually carries significance for every aspect of your life, way beyond just your emotions.]

I’m about to argue that God has created things in such a way that words and language are crucial to the shaping of the world in which we live. Let me explain:

"Speech is my hammer / Bang the world into shape" - Click picture for awesomeness

When he created the universe, he spoke it into existence.  He said, “Let there be light.

The New Testament elaborates on this concept, telling us that it was “the Word” that was integral to the creation event.  The word translated “word” here is the Greek word “logos”, which originally meant “word” or “reason”, but eventually became a philosophical term that referred to the fundamental principal of order and knowledge in the universe.  (Thanks Wikipedia!)  So, Biblically speaking, language and words are connected to – and in some ways equivalent to – the fundamental principal of order in the universe.  And words are also connected to Jesus, who is that fundamenal principal of order..

The New Testament also tells us that this “logos” became flesh – in the form of Jesus.  Thus, Jesus was the spoken “word” of God, sent forth into the world to shape it and redeem it.  So the initial act of creation – in which God used words to shape all things according to his will – is mirrored in this “new creation” that occurred when Jesus himself – “the Word” – came into the world.

A further mirroring of this creation event occurs when God touches our own lives: Just as God spoke to bring light into the darkness at the beginning, so now God sends his light (Jesus) into the darkness of our hearts that we might become a new creation.  In speaking of this “creation event” in our lives, Ephesians 2:10 says, “we are God’s workmanship”.  The Greek word here is “poiema”.  This word tells us that we are crafted by God, who is an expert artist; but it also hints at more: This word is etymologically linked to our modern word, “poem”, referring to a spoken work of art: words made beautiful, and infused with power to shape and change the world (and human hearts).

In this sense, you yourself are a spoken word of God, sent out into the world to accomplish the purpose for which he sent you (like Isaiah 55:10-11).

So, we have here three iterations of creation, with words and language playing a central role in all three:

1. God’s words                      yield                the universe.

2. “The word” (Jesus)             yields               a “new” creation.

3. God’s “poiema”                 yields               a new you.

Do you believe yet that words and language are crucial to the shaping of the world in which we live?  Well in my next post, I’ll take it a little further.

For now, you should love and enjoy the “poiema” of Mos Def as he discusses his love for using his words to shape the world:

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