Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Foreign Language (12/09/10)
TITLE: Tower of Terror
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom
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Bible Verse: Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praises in the coastlands. Isaiah 42:12(NKJ)
As a self-professed word junkie, I cringe when someone mispronounces a word. I also tend to yell at the television if someone says “I’m doing this for Emily and I.”
“Don’t you know it’s for Emily and me?” I scream at the people on the screen. While correcting my kids’ grammar I'm invariably answered with something like: What difference does it make? Language is for communicating. You understood me; therefore we communicated.
With a sigh of exasperation, I try to explain that if people keep using language incorrectly, we won’t be able to comprehend one another at all. Although no one has ever voiced it, I have a sneaking suspicion that at times they think that it might be a good thing if they can’t understand me. I try to get them to realize that it would be like the Tower of Babel all over again.
Can you imagine how the ancient people felt when they woke up the morning after? The previous day they had no problems understanding each other, but suddenly everyone was speaking gibberish. They probably shook their heads and wiggled their fingers in their ears. When that didn’t work, people likely started shouting and speaking slowly. Soon the fear must have become overwhelming.
Words had become too powerful for humans. They had gathered together to build a city and a tower to reach to the heavens; they wanted to create something for which they would always be remembered, a way to make a name for them.
However, this tower upset God; He realized that humans would do many more inappropriate things if they all spoke one language. Therefore, He created different languages which scared everyone and caused them to scatter throughout the world.
His point is clear. Language isn't meant to make humans feel powerful and in control; we are to use our words to glorify God. I cringe at the improper grammar, the texting shorthand that is quickly becoming a local vernacular, and the street words that sound like a foreign language to my generation. I wonder if God is displeased with how words are being used today.
Throughout the day my ears are filled with cussing, racial slurs, and talk of hate. Less common are words that glorify God and spread the Good News that Jesus loves us and died so that we might live with Him in Heaven forever.
Thank you for coming to earth and dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me when I use words to build myself up. Give me the strength to avoid temptation to fit in and say hurtful things. Thank you for the wonderful words that you taught us to say: Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen
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