God laid on my heart a few days ago to begin a word study out of Colossians chapter 3, focussing specifically on the verses that tell us, as a Christian, what we are to “put off” and “put on”. First off I want to share real quickly how I got into word study’s and how I do them.
A long time ago, in fact, back I the very early days of my Christian walk. (About 10 years ago) I heard somewhere how the English Language has evolved over time and has weakened in its definitions. Over time people began to use words without really knowing their meanings and really just lost desire to know what words mean. Upon salvation, I also learned how powerful words can be, specifically the words contained in the word of God. It is by words that we are able to hear and be saved! This thought provoked a passion and love in me to know the true and rich meaning of words.
In my early days I really struggled with reading comprehension and I didn’t understand much. God used these desires to open my eyes to His Word and as well other historical writings.
One tool that has really skyrocketed this passion is called the “Exhausted Strong’s Concordinance.” I was given this tool by my youth pastor when I shared with him at one point what I had been doing. He quickly showed me how to use it and then said I could keep it if I wanted to, so I did.
The other tool I love is the “Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.” I found this on my search for the oldest copy of the English Dictionary I could get my hands on. This has helped tremendously, as the more recent copies just aren’t as descriptive.
So now to share how I conduct this simple study…
First I read my Bible. As I read, God pricks my heart about a verse or passage. I then decide to focus on that portion specifically. Words I don’t really understand, or maybe just want more understanding, I begin to look up.
First I locate the word in my Strong’s, then I locate it’s meaning. (First look up the word in the beginning section, find the number that matches the word in the specific verse, write that number down. (If it’s in the Old Testiment, it’s going to be in the Hebrew Dictionary, if it’s in the New Testiment, it’s going to be I the Hebrew Dictionary.) Locate the number in the dictionary in the back, then write down the definition or portions of the definition that speak to your heart.
After I have completed that task, I take out my Dictionary. Then I look up the word again in my Webster’s and write it down as well. After all this is completed I take a deep breath…. I ponder what I have written as well as the passage, then I write down my thoughts and pray for wisdom.
Today I started my study, focusing on the word “Anger.” As you probably can see, this is the first word listed for the things we are to “put off.” After completing my word study, I was left with this thought…
Anger is a passion or an emotion. When stirred up, we often feel as if we have little or no control over it. You hear that a person is responsible for how they act, more so then how they feel. Usually I have heard that we are to control our response to anger, but this passage says to “put off” the anger itself…
I was left with this thought… How is a person to “put off” anger??