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Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia

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Do not ask me to pronounce the above word! I had enough trouble just copying and pasting it! Nevertheless, it is one of the new words added to Merriam-Webster Dictionary for 2016. So, you might want to incorporate it in your vocabulary to throw around here and there if you want to sound up-to-date and smart. After all, if you mispronounce it, who will know?

All foolishness aside, the reason I use I here is to make an application from its meaning. Believe it or not, it means “a fear of long words!” Speaking of an oxymoron! A 36-letter word that means “a fear of long words”? I guess it is like some other words that we hear that seem contradictory like: “jumbo shrimp,” “baby grand” and “fried ice cream.” Go figure!


In this vein of thinking, when you read through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament, you come across statements that Jesus made that also can seem a bit odd at first glance, until further examined. I will list just a few for your consideration.


The first one that comes to my mind is: “Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 18:25). These words can sound rather puzzling until you dig a little deeper and understand the application that Jesus is making. He is teaching that we can get so absorbed in our own selfish interests (or self-preservation) that we neglect our spiritual walk with Him which will cause us to lose our soul. On the other hand, we can lose (or immerse) our lives in the will of God and gain eternity with Him. 

 

Another interesting statement that Jesus made is: “Many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Matthew 19:30). Once again, a cursory reading of these words leaves us a little baffled, but the context reveals a wonderful truth. The idea is that how this world defines someone as “rich” or “important” is often not the way that God defines them. In other words, there will be some who are wealthy in material things in the here and now that will find themselves bankrupt spiritually in the hereafter (cf. Luke 12:16-21). The opposite will also be true (cf. Luke 16:19-25).


Finally, the greatest enigma of all is that Jesus gave his life so that we might gain ours (cf. John 10:15). We may not be able to understand how God could love us so in this short life- - but we can forever be grateful!