Jot & Tittle

I adorn and embellish my home with words.
I shared hearing here about reading the written word out loud.
I shared here how I love a good play on words.
And even here, how I am a keeper of words, like Frederick the mouse.
Yes, I collect and decorate with words ….
for holiday, for encouragement, for direction, for everyday.When I saw these sweet little orbs with letters printed on the front, I envisioned endless possibilities. So, I bought as many letters as were available and even doubles of a few. Some letters weren’t in the bin. But, how much could I truly be stunted by the lack of a few letters.

… like the letter “v.”

Then I began to think of words that I wanted to display,
ideas I wanted to share
and the words with “v” kept coming to mind.

And could words be more than sound?
Could sound be more powerful than personal interpretation?..


Words … sounds are just the movement of airwaves
like gamma rays, x-rays, light waves and infrared waves.
Their presence can be used for good
– to build up –
or can damage
– and destroy-.


Here is a wonderful literature teacher’s example
of how important emphasis and inflection are
to the reading of a sentence or telling of a story.
Read the following sentence and emphasize the first word.

“I did not say you stole my red bandana.”

Read the sentence again and give emphasis to the second word.
Travel through the sentence, giving weight to each consecutive word
in a separate sentence. Notice how the entire meaning of the sentence changes
when importance is given to each different word?


A jot and tittle. With the change of the smallest letter (jot) or tittle (a simple accent),
the entire meaning of a word can be changed from
good to bad connotation
or vice versa.


And scripture speaks of God’s Word as being alive and active. I love, lOvE, LOVE this verse. It is one of my favorite in all the Bible … because it makes me think about the depth, breadth and density of God, His Word, His Son, and the spoken word in our lives.

Like Jesus spoke in parables, paralleling the spiritual and physical worlds, God convicts and teaches me through similar daily events.God’s Word is sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) I cannot fathom dividing joints and marrow. I automatically gravitate toward the physical of the illustrations, because that’s where I live. That is what I can see and more easily understand.

Surely, there is no such thing in the physical world … only the spiritual. For dividing the joints would surely leave marrow on bone. And removing marrow from bone would surely leave  joint there upon. But, the Word of God has even greater ability than this.


Words. Can be spoken. Emphasized. Recorded. Written. Sung. Embellished.
No matter how they are transferred from the mind of one
to the heart of another
they are engraved as though in stone
upon the life of the listener.


They have power. They are strong …
or gentle … or caressing
stunning … jarring or damaging.
More than the movement of air
more than a jot or tittle
more than sound or stroke
or inflection or rhythm …
they are life
and death.

Proverbs 18: 21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.


Oh, that we might ever-so-carefully choose our words
and gently put emphasis
so that our words would be used for His good and glory.

… live …

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