By Rachel Armenta
I have a confession. I like exclamation points. A lot.
If I’m texting a friend I will most certainly overuse them.
To be completely honest, I overuse both exclamation points and adverbs.
I really, positively, and profoundly like adverbs.
The adverb I’m pretty sure I abuse the most is so. “It’s so cool!” “That’s so wrong!” “You’re so right!”
The overuse and general misuse of such words are common in our tech-savvy but dictionary-lacking culture.
So is one of those words that we tack haphazardly onto random phrases in the most carefree way.
However, the word so, in this same adverbial form, actually appears in the Bible. Jesus used it, and of all the times to employ the word, it was in a conversation with one of the most educated men of His day, Nicodemus.
Jesus Christ wasn’t one to weaken or cheapen the meaning of His carefully selected words.
In the shadows of a quiet Jerusalem night, Jesus used the word so to convey one of the most passionate phrases in all of time and eternity: “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16). SO loved. In this context, the definition of the word so is “to such a great extent.”
God loved this world to such a great extent that He willingly sacrificed His only beloved Son so that the very ones who brutally nailed Him to the cross could have life everlasting life and be called the friends of God. It wasn’t enough for Jesus to tell Nicodemus that God loved the world.
Jesus used the word so to convey the fervent, desperate, and unrelenting love of a God consumed with saving a lost world.
Such a small word. A word often overlooked because it’s often overused.
Yet, it is a word divinely placed in the annals of Scripture to express the tremendous love the Father has for us.
As I grow older on my walk with Christ I find I often have the tendency to treat some of the most powerful revelations in the Bible as if they were cheap nourishment at a drive-thru.
A subtle danger lurks here: the Bible can become nothing more to me than a check mark on my daily to-do list or a merit to be earned by speed-reading through it in a year.
What a tragedy that such life-altering verses as John 3:16 might become nothing more to me than pretty typography on Pinterest or embroidery on a throw pillow!
It’s time to get back to the basics. Time to ask God for a new perspective on His Word. So is just one of twenty-five words that make up John 3: 16, yet this one small word gives such depth and understanding to what Jesus was saying.
There are incredible truths hidden in plain sight. Truths that God longs for us to discover in order to deepen our relationship with Him.
Grab the Bible and a dictionary and begin to study the words that make up your favorite scriptures.
It can definitely, absolutely, and completely change your life!