As a songwriter and speaker I am always listening for phrases, thoughts, and expressions that give words a new setting and deepen their meanings. There are so many phrases and expressions to choose from. Some are powerful, others are empty. Words create pictures. Words create feelings. It is in the expression of those words where the meaning is felt, and the character of the author of those words that conveys their significance.
I read about an exchange between a philosopher and a student where the student stated to the teacher, rather emphatically, “Life is meaningless.” The teacher graciously responded, “I don’t think you believe that.” The student then rather defensively exclaimed, “Yes, I do! Life is meaningless!” Again, the teacher responded, “You don’t really believe that.” Angry and more frustrated the student insisted “I do believe it!! Life is meaningless!”
The irony is in the logic of the argument. In order for a statement to mean anything, there would have to be meaning in the world. If there is no meaning, then the statement meant nothing, and the student really had nothing of significance to say.
Meaning exists, therefore words have meaning.
To find the meaning of words, I return to God. Genesis chapter one shows us a God who decides and a God who speaks. Every word He says creates. Every Word He says conveys unshakable truth. Every Word He says accomplishes everything He sent it out of His mouth to do. God’s words became laws of physics, science, nature, and existence itself. Through God we discovered Grace, beauty, love, justice, mercy, healing, and fulfillment. Because God “is”, love exists and has meaning. God is love.
God spoke His love in history. God chooses men to write His words down so that generations away in the future can read the story of His love and find their significance. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1: 14 .
God put flesh and blood on His words and lived life with those of us He created and loved through the incarnation of His Son, Jesus. God allowed His words to be challenged, scoffed, questioned, accused, beaten, and abused. Even so, His words did not change in meaning or significance. In fact, they became deeper pictures, stronger emotions, greater truths, and sweeter sounds than anyone had heard before. Jesus, the Living Word, came to give your life and mine meaning, purpose, and significance. God speaks His same love today through His Son and through those who live His words.
Is life meaningless? Is love empty? Only if there is no God. And the fact that I type these words and post them expresses the fact that I believe words are powerful, life is significant, and God loves us all.
I cannot take for granted the power of words, because I hang my life on the words that God spoke. They are never empty or meaningless.