Was it a teasing, “Oh, well!”
Or perhaps a pensive reply, “Oh . . . Well . . .”
Could it have been a strong declarative, “Oh! Well!”
Or, were you questioning, “Oh? Well?”
These two words can be used in a different tone of voice. You said it to yourself, and you meant, “Is this something I should have anticipated?”
Or you exclaimed in quiet disgust, “I give up.” Was it more like a realistic resignation, “So be it; I’m not going to let it ruin my day!”
Can you recall the time you said it in a conversation with your friend, your husband, your wife, your child? Did you amplify your words with explanation?
Sometimes we don’t quite verbalize these two words when we pray, but we express them somehow. It could be resigning ourselves to how poorly we followed through with some good intentions. It could be owning up to something we forgot to do—or did do—but we’re sorry, and we’re asking God to forgive this latest imperfection.
Here’s a challenge for you. Say the words, “Oh, well” with a smile as you let your faith rise above the irritation, and you determine to square your shoulders and give your best effort to brightening the rest of the day for someone. For yourself, for some situation.
In a search of several online versions of the Bible I do not find those two words quoted, but you can picture different people in their stressful situations. Would Noah have said, “Oh, well,” in a tone of complaint, or would he have so trusted God to do a miracle that his, “Oh! Well!” was more a recognition of how God was using his trust and his obedience in a startling way.
What about Esther? Would her reply to her uncle be, “Oh, well,” in an angry attitude, or said in a surprised and elated conversation? Try this same approach with other Bible men and women and analyze what was going on.
Our use of these two simple, non-descriptive words can reveal our emotions, our struggle, or our trust in God, so consider how our trust in God sounds to others. People may be listening who you didn’t intend to overhear your spoken words. Other people may be so accustomed to hearing you use those words in a negative way that they will turn aside mentally when you try to speak to them about God, the Bible, Jesus, and His love.
Do you care about your words?
Make this a matter for consideration and prayer. What you say and how you say it makes a difference.
“May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD,
my strength and my redeemer.”
Psalm 19:14 KJV
by Elaine Hardt ©2011