One Little Letter
A World of Difference
Have you ever had one of those times when you thought you saw something, but it turned out to be something altogether different? Maybe you read something and thought it was saying one thing but turned out to be another? I had one of those times last week. I ordered some items from a well-known company whose market focuses on Active and Loungewear. The day the package arrived, I was excited to see what was in the bag. As I rummaged through the contents, comparing them with the packing slip, I was excited to have some new items to replace those in my wardrobe that had become worn and tattered. Then it happened. One of the pieces looked strangely small. As I began to inspect the contents a little closer, I realized the stretch was, let’s just say, “not very forgiving.” In this shipment was another similar item, so I began to inspect that garment. “Nope, it’s okay.” So then I go back to the one that seemed unusually tight – mind you, I have not yet tried these items on, it is only in doing a visual inspection that I realized what had happened. When doing a little online shopping, my aging eyes did not notice the ever so subtle difference in the description. In reality, it was just One Little Letter, but it made a world of difference. I saw “skimmer” what I got was “slimmer!” That One Little Letter made the difference between me needing the assistance from the Jaws of Life to get into or out of the “slimmer” version and being able to breathe, sit, or stand. That got me thinking.
If One Little Letter had the power to keep me out of a garment, how else could One Little Letter impact my life? In the case of my erroneously ordered “slimmer,” the letter was a simple “L” instead of the desired “K.” This whole idea sent my mind reeling – one small shift on the keyboard changed everything!
The Home Row
As I considered that shift, the thought brought to mind a theology class I had while in Bible college. My professor, Dr. Barnes, opened our semester-long course by sharing the importance of having a strong theological foundation and how it would impact our interpretation or misinterpretation of God’s Word. He went on to paint a visual picture to help us gain a fuller understanding. Dr. Barnes said: “A good theological foundation is like having your fingers on the home row of a keyboard. Once your fingers resting on the home row, anything you type from, there will be words we know.” Now he said: “make a shift one key in either direction and when you type, you will end up with gibberish.” Well, in the case of my “K” and “L,” I did not exactly get gibberish; however, I sure got something I did not want! That one shift on the home row of the keyboard turned my “K” to an “L.”
A Small Shift
While the difference between my Skimmer and the Slimmer was not necessarily a “life-changing” event, combined with the memory of my theology class, the experience leads me to consider other areas of my faith walk that are impacted by such a seemingly small shift. As I began to contemplate how One Little Letter could make such a vast difference, I thought about the difference between an “A,” “O,” or “E.” One Little Letter, right? Maybe, but a couple of little changes makes Warrior to Worrier.
Thoughts vs. Action
Worrier and Warrior – hmm? One is in the thoughts, and the other is a response to battle, either spiritual or physical. Strongs concordance describes Worry: to take thought, to be anxious, to be troubled with fears. Contrast that with Warrior: one who fights battles or goes to war. Yet one more reason to take our thoughts captive and dwell on the things of Phillipians 4:9. I don’t know about you, but I do not need any more worriers in my life; I need me some WARRIORS! Can I get an AMEN?!
The subtle differences with One Little Letter that changes Worrier to Warrior, has the power to move one from destructive thoughts into battle against them, made me think about another subtle but oh so powerful difference One Little Letter can make.
Erasing the Trinity
One Little Letter can change an entire theological belief structure. The letter “A” has the power to, and does for some, completely remove the trinity.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
Did you see that one subtle little change? Go back and reread it – do you see where the addition of the letter “A” completely changes everything we know and believe about our God? With the addition of “a” in front of God at the end of verse one, all of a sudden, what we know of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being ONE changes to an alternate idea that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three different gods and not THE one God. One Little Letter.
One Little Letter, the difference between the “slimmer” I could not get into and the “skimmer” that was soft and comfortable was just that, One Little Letter. The difference between being bound in my thoughts spinning as a “worrier” and being a woman who is a “warrior” is a subtle shift with tremendous impact. Adding that “a” to John 1:1 completely erased what we know to be true about Yahweh.
As followers of Christ, we need to be aware, always looking for those One Little Letter differences that creep into our thoughts, lives, and theology. A couple of times in my life, I have heard pastors say: “Theology does not save the lost.” I can agree with that statement, but I believe it is only partially true. Salvation does not come from theology – true. BUT, lousy theology sure can mess up what we come to know and believe about God. Do we believe He is THE ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD existing as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit OR like the passage above from the New World Translation, is He one of many options?
The words of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5 remind us we are at war – Warriors! “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
The Breath of God
I love how the Passion Translation words 2 Timothy 3:15: “Every Scripture has been inspired by the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness. Then you will be God’s servant, fully mature and perfectly prepared to fulfill any assignment God gives you.” Empowered! Strengthened! Prepared!
Warriors Armed With Truth
We are not at war under our own waning power, we are warriors armed with the Truth, digging deeper, and able to recognize, and take captive the subtle shifts that lead us to accept the “slimmer” version of all God has for us – which by the way would NEVER fit in a “slimmer” anything!
Welcome, I'm Holly Watson
Certified Professional Life Coach
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Holly is a commissioned minister of Pastoral Care from the National Conservative Christian Church/Experience Church. She has served in ministry for many years in various roles including adult Sunday School co-director with her husband David, part of a church planting team in Phoenix, AZ, children’s choir teacher, nursery director, director of Women’s Ministry and director of Children’s Ministry and Chaplain for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Rapid Response Team.
Holly holds a B.A. Biblical Studies from San Diego Christian College in El Cajon, an M.A. Clinical Christian Counseling from Colorado Theological Seminary; she gained her CPLC (Certified Professional Life Coach) from Christian Coach Institute, holds a Teaching Diploma from the Evangelical Training Association in Wheaton Ill., and a Certification in Temperament Therapy from the National Christian Counselors Association.
Holly struggled with school and learning for many years. This cycle was broken in her mid-twenties when she began to have success after having a couple of engaging teachers who communicated and encouraged the learner in her. Graduating college with honors and later being accepted to the University of Southern California have become milestones that help her inspire others to work towards and achieve their goals, hopes, and dreams.