Words can be a ladder, but we have to do the climbing

When we make the mistake of focusing on words instead of the meaning behind the words, even words that are meant to help can appear to become an obstacle.

Christianity, for example, has sometimes attempted to capture and compress the essence of Christian truth into a creed or doctrinal statement. The unintended result has been to put more focus on words than on God.

We may need to check from time to time to make sure that we too are not substituting an experience of familiar words for an experience of God. People may come to feel they can find God only within specific words. Actually, a great range of words can serve God's purpose at any given time. Think of the words that have touched you—even brought healing at various times. Sometimes they may have been simple and comforting or humorous. At others, they may have been blunt and brief or profoundly metaphysical.

Meekness and moderation
November 5, 1990

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