Potable Drinking Water

6 Mar

Read: Matthew 25:14-30

“And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.  And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground.  See, you have what is yours.’  But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave… you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.” – Matthew 25:24-26a, 27b NASB


I loathe the misuse of the English language.  I’m not talking about the ordinary misuse which takes place during every day dialogue (that’s to be expected), but the type of misuse which takes place in professional media.

For example, you would think that when someone was advertising a product, they would take the time to make certain that the name of the product was spelled correctly.   Management (at least, most management) should be wise enough to recognize that allowing simple errors in spelling to be posted on a billboard reflects poorly on the establishment.

Likewise, I have a beef with those who try to give their outfit a high class appearance by using words which are redundant, exceed the limits of the average vocabulary, or both.  With this in mind, I was less than pleased when I walked into the pet department one afternoon and saw a sign above our rain barrels reading: Safe for Potable Drinking Water.  Since “potable” means “drinkable”, the sign might as well have read: Safe for Drinkable Drinking Water.  I explained this to management and even went through the effort of proving it with my trusty dictionary, but to no avail.  Despite knowing that their word usage was incorrect, management had no intention of changing the sign.  Every time I walked past, I couldn’t help thinking about how foolish we looked!

Unfortunately, many times we as Christians behave quite similarly.  God’s Word is available to us and we know that what we are doing isn’t right.  But it would require effort on our part to correct our behavior, so we just leave it hanging there: an obvious testimony to our own foolishness.

Perhaps this is why Jesus spent so much time emphasizing the need to do our best with everything God has placed in our charge – no matter how little it may seem.  Only when we truly seek to honor God by giving Him the best we have can we expect to reap a reward!

Challenge: Are you doing your best with what God has given you or are you letting the little things slide?  This week, commit to taking the time to do your best with every task set before you.  You can be assured that God will be pleased with your efforts!

One Response to “Potable Drinking Water”

  1. Daron Henson March 8, 2013 at 16:50 #

    I have been coming across many such articles as this one that discuss the decline of the English language. Your article explicates how redundancy and the simple rules of grammar should always be followed lest risking a negative impression which could be formed.

    Thank you.

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