9th March 2011


“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.”
Matthew 24:30 (NIV UK)

The English language is a living organism—changing constantly.  Some words used years ago now seem strange and certainly some words used today have had their meanings altered.  If a young person is really impressed and delighted, a response could well be ‘wicked’!  Often that word reflects the ultimate in enchantment—how different to its meaning only a few short years ago!

Another word that had a flaccid meaning in the past but now has a very different interpretation is ‘whatever’.   Previously it meant ‘any or anything’, ‘come what may’, ‘it doesn’t matter’, etc.  Today the context of ‘whatever’ is ‘I don’t care’, ‘do what you like’, ‘say what you like’, ‘it makes no difference to me’, etc.  The entire connotation expresses a lack of interest in the situation or the individual to whom it is said.  Some would suggest that the word is over used in today’s world, reflecting a lack of interest in life in general and people in particular.

The origin of ‘whatever’ stems from the 13th century and quite simply means ‘whatsoever’ or what+ever.  An interesting point is the meaning of ‘ever’.  According to the online Etymological Dictionary, ‘ever’ is derived from ‘always ever’, ‘vital force’, ‘life’, ‘long life’, ‘eternity.’

Therefore when we say ‘whatever’ the question we are actually asking is ‘what eternity’?  That puts a totally different slant on the word.  We move from indifference and lethargy to questioning the meaning of life and what eternity holds.

What does Christ say about ‘whatever’?  Read Matthew 24:30, quoted above—There is nothing passive about that!  The Son of God will come to rectify man’s wrongdoings with might and splendour.  Should we be afraid and quake in our shoes? King David has the answer, Psalm 37:37, “Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.”

We have nothing to fear and everything to look forward to if we follow the instructions in God’s Word. In Micah 6:8 we find, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

There should be no room in our lives for the ‘whatever’ attitude.  We have a future filled with wonder and excitement promised to us—a promise made without the juncture ‘whatever’, but made with the guarantee of God Himself.

Father, we ask you for a heart filled with Christ-like compassion for our fellow man to help us to help those who cannot help themselves. Haste the day of your glorious return.

Study by Irene Wilson 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Print This Article


One Response to “9th March 2011”

  1. John Magowan on March 9th, 2011 12:06 pm

    Thank you Irene for a well constructed and thought provoking article this morning. You are absolutely right about the way our beautiful language is being slowly hijacked in exchange for other meanings! Today, everything is either ‘cool’ or ‘awesome’–not to mention the poor grammar that prevails everywhere. ‘Whatever’ you do, keep turning out the articles for this site–they are appreciated!

Got something to say?