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Occasional ramblings and writings. Occasional being the optimal word.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just a Four-Letter Word

I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those things I’ve written that makes perfect sense in my head, but may not make sense to anyone else.  

There’s a small, four-letter word that gets used way too often in our everyday vocabulary. It’s pretty destructive whether you’re saying it or it’s being said to you.

 The word is JUST. For such a small word, it sure can do big things. It’s so popular that Jon Acuff, one of my favorite bloggers, mentions it as God’s favorite word. He’s of course using satire to help Christians poke fun at themselves, but I love that post, so I hard to figure out a way to share it.

My problem with the word JUST has nothing to do with the definition meaning to be upright, guided by truth, to be righteous, etc. We should all try to do that.

No, the definition I have a problem with is when JUST is used to remove the significance from something.

How many times have you heard phrases like: “I’m JUST a housewife?” “I’m JUST a student.” “I’m JUST a kid.” The list goes on and on.

JUST is both a demeaning and condescending word all at the same time—to you and also whatever it is you’re trying to distance yourself from.

I, for example, could say, “I’m JUST a secretary.” However, that implies that being a secretary is something to be ashamed of and that I feel like I’m too good to be one. There are thousands and thousands of people who are secretaries and are happy about it. By implying that I’m too good to be one, I further imply that everyone who is a secretary is beneath me. But that’sanother issue.

Besides that , we’ve all been known to use JUST as way to excuse something [again removing the significance].

We do this by saying things like, “It’s JUST one drink,” or “It’s JUST fooling around,” or “It’s JUST a little bit of booby.” [That’s a direct quote from my Pastor by the way.]

When we use the word in this context, it’s like each JUST is putting a shovel into the dirt and eventually we find that we’ve JUST-ED ourselves into a hole. I don’t know about you, but I JUST-ED myself up to almost 450lbs.

How many times have you heard someone say something like, “It’s JUST something I threw together,” or “It’s JUST something I wrote?”

Again, this is taking away the significance of something—your talent or accomplishment. It could also be perceived as false humility. [JonAcuff strikes again!]

Get the JUST out of your mouth. Don’t devalue yourself or your talents. Don’t think that because something comes in a small dose that it’s JUST harmless. It may not be.

[I feel like I should be ending this by making some reference to you livin' in a VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!]

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