The Futility of Words

There are many reasons I haven’t blogged since January, but one of them has to do with my last post, “The Greater Picture.” In it I tried to communicate a truth that has deeply affected my perspective on life but felt like I failed, miserably failed.

As I have thought about this, I’ve been forced to conclude that words are, to an extent, futile. Certainly, words have power but they are also a futile attempt to capture and communicate things that are much bigger than words.

As a student of theology (as I believe every Christ-follower should be), I particularly think and want to communicate the truths that go well beyond words. In fact, I’m deeply interested in the truths that go beyond my ability to even think (i.e., the Trinity, the Incarnation, etc.).

So why communicate? Why bother if my greatest attempts (regardless of editing) still come up short?

The answer, for me, is simple; I do not communicate into a void. To an extent, I communicate to a reader but even more significantly I communicate into a space occupied by the Holy Spirit. My words are futile, yes; but his transforming work can make them significant. My attempt to share Biblical and theological truths will always fall short unless the Spirit is the one picking them up and impressing them on others’ hearts (including my own).

Sometimes, to be perfectly honest, this is frustrating, but only in my pride. It is when I want to be the perfect communicator, when I want to be the life-changing blogger, when I want 50 comments, that my words fall short. And that’s precisely because they’re just that, they’re my words.

But if I humble myself and am sensitive to the Spirit’s leading, maybe my words could be used for his purposes, not just to gain more comments.

And that’s why, despite the futility of my words, words can and do have power. We must keep sharing, keep thinking, even keep blogging because who we affect is not up to us; he’s in control and it is in surrender that our words might begin to communicate the truths we prayed they would.

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7 thoughts on “The Futility of Words

    1. Thank you Cody, even just your comment is a reminder that my own words do nothing. It’s God speaking into a life through events and then a well-timed word.

  1. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” John 1:1 That verse came to mind as I read your post.

  2. Great use of italics. Always great to read you expressing yourself from your heart Matt. you can have 1 of your 50 comments for it 😉

  3. My last comment suspiciously did not go through. Perhaps it was divine.
    I can’t draw the lines…I sometimes wish they would appear, but once the lines are drawn, I’m afraid my soul to faint to bear such untold truths.

  4. Love this post, man. You’re not alone. Blogging feels hopeless sometimes. And guess who else pays too much attention to comments?
    🙂

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