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Totally the Most Extreme Ever!

"That was the most intense, thrilling, and overwhelming experience of total culinary artistic ability that my taste buds have ever been a part of and I believe that my entire life was changed as a result. I will never be the same after having eaten that candy bar!"

If this sounds like something you have heard before, you know what I am about to speak about. Americans, for the past couple decades, have been trying to speak in extreme terms about everything. "The best ever", "absolutely the greatest", or "the most horrible" and "unbelievably awful" and other similar phrases are used so much today, that the quote at the top seems to be the only way for us to say that we "enjoyed" something and have people think we did not hate it.

When everything is the most extreme (either the "best" or the "worst") then nothing is ever truly the best or the worst. We make extreme terminology to be the norm, and thus, how can we possibly describe something as being normal? I noticed this most vividly a while back when I realized that there are four categories of items in online purchases: 1) new; 2) like new; 3) good; and 4) acceptable.

There is definitely something wrong with us if we think that something that is "good" is near the bottom of the list. "Good" used to be the highest level of morality; it was distinct from "well" which connoted something healthy or sturdy. As you probably know, our language influences our hearts and minds, so this is not a mere nitpicky detail that only those obsessed with grammar need to be concerned about. If you regularly take the Lord's name in vain, the Lord will become vain in your heart (unavoidably!).

A similar example can be found in how hollywood describes itself. If you watch a "making of" featurette of just about any movie made in the last decade, you will hear the actors, actresses, directors and writers talking about one another as though they are the incarnation of Divinity. Everyone in hollywood (according to them) is "a true artist" and does an "amazing" job (etc.). The way that they talk about the movies they make is the same; you would think that if you saw the movie they are promoting that you will be raised into the highest level of spiritual consciousness and find a new experience of pleasure that cannot be found anywhere else in creation.

I know it is hard, but we need to be certain we do not follow the ways of the world; including in how we speak. If we talk just like the world, then how can we speak truthfully about our Lord? He truly is "extreme", the "greatest", the most "amazing"; and nothing can compare with Him. His grace actually is "stunning" and "awesome"; and nothing else comes close. If it is good, say so; if it is bad, say so. Let your "yes be yes, and your no be no" (cf. Matthew 5:37). Avoid constant extremes, so that you can truly appreciate it (and tell of it) when something is actually extreme. Let us speak the truth with love (Ephesians 4:15).


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