Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Our Family's Favorite Greek Word

God has blessed Alice and me with three wonderful children (Caroline, Mary, and Bobby).

This will come as no shock to you: our kids frequently leave their things lying around the house. The messes that reside in their respective rooms more than occasionally migrate out into the living room and beyond. This is where our favorite Greek word comes into play.

We take this word from Philippians 3:8 where Paul writes, "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ."

The word I'm focusing on is "rubbish." In the Greek, this word means garbage or even dung.

The actual Greek word is σκυβαλα (pronounced skoo-ba-la). All our kids know it well because it is our favorite.

Skubala just carries a colorful, even aromatic, sense to it. For this reason, we will often say to one or all of the kids, "Please take your skubala to your rooms." It not only feels good to say it, but it is also very effective.

The kids often reply with something like, "My toy/book/pillow/stuffed animal/action figure is not skubala." The key, however, is that they are almost always carrying their objects to their rooms as they say it. Mission accomplished.

Sometimes I even hear one kid say to the other something along the lines of, "Your skubala is on the couch." Nice.

So, learn some NT Greek. Start with one word if you need to: skubala.

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