I love languages, we can learn so much about our own if we look into the past to see where the word came from. For example, while this is disputed in linguistic circles, the term “walrus” most likely came from two Dutch words. The first word is walvus or whale in English and the second ros or horse in English.
Literally the meaning of walrus is “Whale-Horse”.
I bet you didn’t know that. Now, when your family gathers for Memorial Day you can wow them with that fact AND direct them to your favorite faith blogger at the same time. ^_^
But we as Christians use a word that I’m sure most don’t even know the definition, let alone the root or etymology. This word is
We sing about it, we quote scripture with it, we “say grace” before we eat. But…have you ever thought about what it means?
According to Webster’s dictionary, Grace means “Unmerited Favor”. While you all are saying duh to that, let’s look how far back we can get to see just how unmerited it can be.
The earliest known use of the word in Hebrew (from the Old Testament) comes in the form of CHEN, but its root word is the word CHANAN. This means particularly “Stooping down in kindness to another as a superior to an inferior” (Strongs 2603).
The Greek however, comes in the form of CHARIS (sound familiar?) which is our root for the word charity. The word CHARIS in Greek has the root of CHAIRO which means “Happy or Glad” (Strongs 5463).
So what can we get from all of this? What can we understand more from all of this?
Every time we are met with a blessing, a direct answer to prayer or a miracle, God is Happily extending his Favor in an act of servant leadership. The same way Christ washed the Apostle’s feet before the last supper.
Let’s dwell on this for just a bit, Mark 10:45 tells us “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time you know that Christ was a servant on this Earth and we are to follow His example. But He was simply following the example His Father set beforehand. Our God and King in all His glory, is above all a servant leader.
The Apostle Paul tells us “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace [Favor], that we may receive mercy and find grace [Favor through God’s servant leadership] to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.
See, while everyone else in Greece and the ancient civilizations feared their gods with trembling, it is quite obvious through our own actions that we don’t fear the living God enough. This is most likely due to the fact that we are given grace and favor from an all powerful God who would rather be a servant than a dictator.
Humans are inherently selfish, and subconsciously we take advantage and take for granted every good thing we have. It’s no wonder God gets angry with us consistently.
So remember, the word “grace” has a very powerful meaning, and I hope by reading this we don’t forget it again.