|Volume 18 Number 10 October 20165||
Glann M. Lee
In this article we shall be looking at four popular expressions: (1) Four words: “In God we trust,” (2) Three words: “I love you,” (3) Two words: “Thank you” and (4) One word: “Amen.”
Four Word Expression: “In God We Trust”
“In God we trust” was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956 as an alternative or replacement to the unofficial motto of “E pluribus unum,” which was adopted when the Great Seal of the United States was created and adopted in 1782. Secularists have expressed objections to the use of “In God We Trust,” and they have sought to have the religious reference removed from the currency.
Christians know that “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). The apostle Paul showed the relationship of the Christian to government with “…supplications, prayers, intercession and giving of thanks, be made for… kings and all in authority” (1 Timothy 2:1-2; cf., Romans 13:1-7).
Three Word Expression: “I Love You”
Jesus showed the place of love in the scheme of redemption (Matthew 22:36; cf., 1 Corinthians 13). Spouses need to express regularly their love for each other. Parents need to express regularly to their children their love for them. Children need to express regularly their love for their parents.
Two Word Expression: “Thank You”
The Psalmist addressed this issue. “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so…” (Psalm 107:2). Paul commended his coworkers. About Timothy he said, “For I have no man like minded, who will naturally care for your state” (Philippians 2:20). For the Corinthians he wrote, “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:4). “Thank you” needs to be expressed to elders, one’s spouse, parents, teachers, etc.
One Word Expression: “Amen”
“Amen” is an exclamation said at the end of a prayer or hymn, meaning “so be it.” Those who lead in the public worship should stand up, speak up, shut up and sit down. During the days of miracles, Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the misuse of “tongues” in their worship. “Else when you shall bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupies the place of the unlearned say Amen at your giving of thanks, seeing he understands not what you said?” (1 Corinthians 14:16).
[Editor’s Note: All of our expressions, regardless of the number of words, ought to be fitting for coming forth from the mouth of a child of God. “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another” (Ephesians 4:25 NKJV). “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31). “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:4). “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6). The Holy Book – the Bible – is filled with divine instructions regarding the speech of the child of God, indicating the difficulty with which humanity masters its words. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]
There are always jobs that are messy, and when the job is finished, there may be debris, clutter, parts, plain old dirt, fuzz, etc. that must be cleaned up. The job may have required a lot of elbow grease and have been messy itself, but the cleanup job is always the worst of the dirty work. It’s a strange thing that no one wants to do that job! I taught vocational agriculture in high school, and you can believe that, after completing an assignment, teenage boys (no girls in Vo-Ag back then) can turn out a lot of dirty work that has to be cleaned up. There were never volunteers to do that job. I had to say “you” and “you” take care of that.
In our homes, there are dirty-work jobs for which no one volunteers. From household repairs that require cleanup, to commodes failing and overflowing, to picking up trash or a house pet having an “accident,” there is dirty work to be done. Again, there may be no volunteers to rush forward and get the unpleasant task done. Sometimes people who can afford to do so have hired helpers to take care of their dirty work. Many times people just don’t want to get their hands dirty. We are seeing more and more of this in our young folks as they see the older ones not wanting to do unpleasant tasks and passing them on to the next generation. When I was growing up, everyone had to help take care of the unpleasant chores. We had a dairy farm, and when the cows went through the milk barn, there was a lot of “dirty work”! We had a large garden and raised most of our own food, and we butchered our own meat. We had farm equipment to be repaired, hay to mow and bale, and to be put into the hayloft. We lived on a farm that couldn’t exist without dirty work.
There is another place that “dirty work” occurs in our lives, and it is called sin. Sin is the worst kind of dirty work because it’s the work of Satan. We read in Deuteronomy 25:16, “All who do unrighteousness are an abomination to God.” We read further in Proverbs 6:16ff, “Seven things are an abomination to God: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies and he who sows discord among the brethren.” First, we see that God hates the works of the unrighteous person, and then the things that God hates are listed one by one. What is an abomination? It is a something that God detests because of the evil. These are the true “dirty works” of Satan.
Satan tempts us to sin, and then he does what is necessary to try to keep us in his clutches. Early in the Old Testament in Genesis 4:7, we read what God said to Cain about the intent of his heart: “If you do well, you will be accepted. If you don’t do well, sin lies at the door.” Because of his dirty work of killing his brother, Cain was cursed forevermore. Likewise, each of us will be cursed for our dirty work unless we honestly and fervently make amends with God.
Unlike the examples above of someone else having the honor of cleaning up the dirty work, each one of us must clean up our own sinful dirty work. First, we must admit to the sin we’ve done. The apostle Paul said, “Sin does so easily beset us” (Hebrews 12:1), but we read in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Then, we must make amends to God for our sin by serving Him faithfully. When one fails to do this, 2 Peter 2:22 speaks of “the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit and the sow that was cleaned to her wallowing in the mire.” That means Satan will continue to enlist you to do his “dirty work.”