“What is the Good of Words?”

gk-chestertonI am a big G.K. Chesterton fan so when I ran across this provocative quote from G. K. Chesterton (Thanks to new blog follower Chantelle), I knew I had to pass it on:

“What is the good of words if they aren’t important enough to quarrel over? Why do we choose one word more than another if there isn’t any difference between them? If you called a woman a chimpanzee instead of an angel, wouldn’t there be a quarrel about a word? If you’re not going to argue about words, what are you going to argue about? Are you going to convey your meaning to me by moving your ears? The Church and the heresies always used to fight about words, because they are the only thing worth fighting about.”

A lot of stuff flies around the internet that shouldn’t.

Mean spirited, ugly, motive-judging comments, blog posts and Facebook rants that fall well below the standard of Ephesians 4:29. But that doesn’t mean people who write strange, weird, heretical, sub-biblical nonsense should get a pass or never be confronted. (That goes for me too.) Chesterton is right. Words are important.

But it does mean that we need to be kind, generous and tender-hearted in all of our writing and interaction in the midst of our passionate pursuit of truth. 

Let’s remember that.

By the way, PBS has a new Father Brown mystery series right now. So far, it isn’t as good as the first series, but it isn’t bad.


2 thoughts on ““What is the Good of Words?”

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