Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Obscure Sorrows

I recently came across a list of 23 terms that describe emotions that are rather obscure. You may feel them, but without these terms have a hard time describing them. If you are like me, you have only heard of a few of these words. Not all apply to spiritual considerations, but these few might be instructive.

  • Monachopsis: The subtle but pervasive feeling of being out of place. This is a feeling that every child of God should have! We are not of this world. “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).
  • Énouemont: The bitter-sweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self. In a sense, the foolish rich man felt this way. Remember his request of Abraham? “I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment” (Luke 16:27-28). His request for his brothers followed his realization that it was too late for him. There will be many in the day of judgment pining for the opportunity to go back in time, having learned the reality of God’s judgment.
  • Jouska: A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head. This brings to mind the constant conflict within each of us. “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5:17). We need to avoid being double-minded! (cf. James 1:5-8). This will take maturity and diligence in submitting to the will of God.
  • Ellipsism: A sadness that you’ll never know how history will turn out. This is a feeling that should be alien to the Christian. If we are faithful to God, we know exactly how it all will end! “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28).
  • Nodus Tollens: The realization that the plot of your life does not make sense to you anymore. This is the despair of a life that is not lived with God’s guidance. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). How many come to despair because they have followed their own inclinations to a life of dissolution? Truth and peace are the byproducts of submission to the will of the Almighty.
  • Liberosis: The desire to care less about things. There is a scriptural remedy for this malady. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). As we cast our cares on Him (cf. 1 Peter 5:7), we can better focus on the life to come rather that which now is (cf. Matthew 6:33).
  • Occhiolism: The awareness of the smallness of your perspective. I love the Lords’ answer to the temerarious questions of Job. “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it” (Job 40:1). Job didn’t understand what was happening to him because he didn’t have the breadth of perspective that God enjoyed. May we all be aware of our limitations, and refuse to question the goodness or wisdom of our God.

The English language has a word for just about everything! I hope that these words have brought some spiritual enlightenment in their application. Now, to finish with some simple words that all Christians know, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 31:13).