Acts 4:12 - And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Pastor's note: while this devotion is not gross, crude or violent, it may be one parents want to screen before they share (and end up trying to explain) to their children.
When you have to -- but don't want to -- say something which seems overly harsh, it's time to roll out your friendly, nice-sounding euphemism. For example, if someone died, you can say they departed, passed away, bit the big one, sold the farm, bit the dust, kicked the bucket, or croaked.
Did someone die in the hospital? That individual had experienced a "negative patient outcome." If they died at the hand of the mob, they had been "fitted with concrete overshoes," and if their end was brought about by a comrade (i.e. "friendly fire"), their death is called "collateral damage."
At times, when you don't want to offend, euphemisms can be wonderful friends and, at other times, euphemisms can be just plain silly. An official guide sent by the British Medical Association to all the MDs in the United Kingdom fits into the silly category.
In the 14-page booklet, physicians were told they should stop referring to pregnant women as "expectant mothers." Indeed, the booklet suggests the physician should erase the title "expectant mother" from his or her vocabulary. The new and, theoretically, non-offensive term the article encouraged was ... are you ready... "pregnant person."
Well, if the new suggestion was supposed to be inoffensive, I'm afraid it has failed.
There are a lot of pregnant and ex-pregnant women who were offended their hard-earned title was going to be set aside so a few ex-men might not be offended. There are other women who said, "Being a woman and a mother is more than a lifestyle choice."Although no one in Great Britain has asked, I think, rather than offending 32 million women, they might want to consider a new title for those fellows like, maybe, men-moms.
As I said, nobody asked me.
Now the point of this devotion is this: euphemisms can be good sometimes, and they can be bad sometimes, but you seldom see God using them. That, I believe, is for a number of divine reasons:
1. God's prime purpose in speaking to us in Scripture is to save us -- not to not offend us.
2. God wants us to be sure the things He says to us are not open to misinterpretation.
3. The Lord wants us to see the enormity of our lostness and the greatness of His grace.
That's why you will hear Him saying things like "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a) and "the soul that sins will die" (see Ezekiel 18:20a). He wants us to know His intentions toward His lost children when He says that He would have all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of His truth (see 1 Timothy 2:4). He tells us of the intensity of His love for us when He says that He loved the world so much He gave His only Son to take our place (see John 3:16). And so we are never confused, He tells us that "there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
You will note there is not a euphemism in the bunch.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that You have been plain in condemning sin and equally clear on how we can be saved. Grant that we may be equally clear in expressing our appreciation. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
The story upon which this Daily Devotion is based was carried by The Christian Institute on January 31, 2017.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries