Certain terms have a literal meaning. However, many also carry a connotative meaning as well. There is the dictionary meaning and the one that translates for the masses. Sometimes using a term in its dictionary meaning can hit the ears of someone who has only captured the masses' understanding. I found this out in New York while bowling in a men's league.
Our men's team was made up of Joe Burda, Joe Pribula, Rock Levesque and myself and whichever of Rock's sons would come and bowl with us. We were the champions of the league for three years running so teams were always gunning for us when they had the chance to play us head to head. Such was the situation one night when the winner of the first game hinged on their anchor, a guy named Tony, covering a single ten pin.
Our team looked down that lane realizing that if Tony covered that pin all he had to do was keep the ball on the lane for his final ball of the game and they would be one game up on us for the night.
Point totals were important at that particular juncture in the league and we were scrapping for the right to be number one. When Tony set up on the approach he looked determined to will the pin down if need be. Tony made his approach to the foul line set his foot and released his ball. It hooked over toward the number one board and looked like it might hang there and cover the ten pin. Then the hook grabbed a little harder on the ball and the ball cut back away from the outside line finishing just left of the ten pin.
In frustration Tony returned to the seats and plopped down beside me. "Why did I miss that, Tom?" he asked. "Because, like me, you're an amateur." What I meant and what he heard were two different things. He heard that he was just a bush league bowler with practically no talent. I meant that he was not a professional with thousands of hours of practice to ingrain muscle memory to make the ten pin almost automatic. Tony fell apart the rest of the way trying to deal with being an amateur.
Then there's the word, "saint." In the literal meaning of the sixty-two references in the New Testament it means "one who is sanctified by God." So many do not see themselves as saints due to denominations which lionize certain members of their sects and assign them super status as "saints." Each one of us who are in Christ Jesus, made holy by the blood of the Lamb and set apart to the family of God is a saint. "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." Ephesians 2:19 Enjoy your sainthood.
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