Skip to main content

Whatever

 

 

I recently heard that there is an annual survey conducted to determine the most annoying word of the year. For multiple years running (I didn’t catch how many) the people have spoken and deemed “whatever”as the word they least like to hear. 

 

People don’t like this word because it is usually said with a bad attitude. When two people get into an argument and one has run out of things to say, they just sigh loudly and say, “whatever.” It is a word of indifference; rather than thinking of something even remotely clever, we just shrug and utter this tired cop out. 

 

But whatever doesn’t have to be an annoying word. It has the potential to do the opposite; it can lead us to rejoice. It can be freeing rather than frustrating. Consider how Paul used the word.

 

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

 

Many say this word is overused, but the apostle wrote it six times in one verse, and it isn’t one time too many. Instead of using the word in place of thinking, Paul used the word to tell us how to think, or what to think about. Notice that all of the “whatevers” are positive. 

 

How many times do we do the opposite? We choose to dwell on whatever is dishonest, whatever is dishonorable, whatever is unjust, whatever is impure, whatever is awful, whatever is wrong. It is no wonder that so many walk around with stress and anxiety weighing them down. It is no wonder mental health diagnosis are on the rise. We fill our minds with whatever is a product of the curse, and it gets us down in the dumps. 

 

If we take Paul’s advice we would be much happier. We have to make a concentrated effort to do this because we are bombarded with whatever the media wants us to consume. We might need to change the radio station, turn off the TV, log off of Facebook, put down the phone, or walk away from the conversation. Protect your mind from whatever gets you down, and saturate it with whatever cheers you up. 

 

The next time you hear someone say whatever, don’t get annoyed. Let it remind you to think on whatever is encouraging.      

 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The “Christians Hate Gays” Myth

During these Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) hearings before the Supreme Court I keep hearing how much Christians hate gay people. This was news to me since I am a Christian and I don’t hate gay people. I also go to church with over 1000 other Christians, and if any of them hate gay people, they sure haven’t told me. Before moving to South Carolina I worked at or attended several churches in Texas; prior to that I spent a decade going to church in Florida. Guess what? No one hated gay people. In fact, I don’t know any Christians who hate anybody. The very uniform of a believer is his love, and if a person does not show consistent love, then he is not actually a believer. Are there non-believers who hate gay people and claim to be Christian? Of course. But that doesn’t represent Jesus or His church. Equating  hateful sign-wavers with Christianity is like equating a kindergarten baseball team to the New York Yankees. They may claim to be playing the same

SBC 22 Update

The Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting is in the books, and I wanted to give a recap of some of the highlights. We were glad to represent Putman among more than 8,000 messengers in the beautiful city of Anaheim, California.  Most notably, the SBC dedicated serious time to the issue of sexual abuse within the convention. One year ago messengers asked for the creation of a Sex Abuse Task Force (SATF) that would report back 30 days prior to this year’s meeting. The report was horrific (to quote outgoing SBC President Ed Litton, it was “a gut punch”). In response, Southern Baptists overwhelmingly voted to adopt both recommendations from the task force.  First, the convention approved a continuing task force, called the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force (ARITF), that will work for as many years as is needed to continue the effort begun by the SATF, which was only given one year to work.  More importantly, the convention adopted the creation of a database at the SBC office. The

The Rose of Sharon and Lily of the Valley

If you have spent much time in church you have probably sung some songs with lyrics like these: “He leads me to his banqueting table, his banner over me is love… Jesus is the rock of my salvation, his banner over me is love.” “Sweetest rose of Sharon, come to set us free.” “He’s the lily of the valley, the bright and morning star…” But are those songs biblical? They come out of the writings of the Song of Solomon, but are we to understand those lines as describing Christ? The Song of Solomon is a collection of love poems that were written between two people who were deeply in love and about to be married. While we know that King Solomon is one of the writers, the other’s name has escaped us, and we know her today simply as the Shulamite woman. Some people believe that since this woman is not named then she never existed; some teach that this book is pure allegory, only existing to serve as symbolism. King Solomon, they say, represents