Wednesday’s Word of the Day: Scrupulous

16 11 2011

Today’s word is scrupulous.  The word has two meanings.  The first is having or showing a strict regard for what one considers right.  The second is punctiliously or minutely careful, precise, or exact.  I consider both definitions to function in the same way.  If a musician believes in the way they perform a particular piece of music and if they perform it the same way every time that they play, the musician is scrupulous.

The root of the word is Latin.  The base of the word is a diminutive of scrupus, scrupulus, which means a sharp stone or pebble.  While the literal meaning is a small stone or pebble, scrupulus means an uneasiness, anxiety, or pricking of conscience, much like a pebble or rock in your shoe might cause discomfort.  In life, being scrupulous can mean different things to different people.  There are a variety of lifestyles, ethics, and amoral philosophies by which one can live.  You can live for money, pouring all of your energy, time, and talent into earning money and power.  You can live for power, seeking every opportunity to exalt yourself over others, bending their will to yours, and doling out punishment when your expectations go unmet.

While it is good to have standards, the standards we choose are equally important.  The standard we live by is indicated by our actions.  Jesus said as much in John 14:15 “If you love Me,  you will keep My commandments.” and in verse 23 “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.”  Essentially, what we love is indicated by what we do.  To what are we giving our thoughts, our affection, our passion,  and our time, whatever it is that is what we love.  In Mark, Jesus repeats the command from Dueteronomy, “This is the most important… Listen, Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is One.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Going back to John, Jesus tells us His command is to love one another as He loved us.

When I read the verses in Mark, I wondered what all meant, so I looked it up.  Funny enough, it means all, whole, or complete.  In this love, there is nothing left for the self.  We are to give our all to Him and to those around us.  Jesus continues His command in John, saying, “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.”

According to the bible, what demands our strict regard and exact attention is Jesus commands.  And His commands were simple and yet all encompassing.  He doesn’t want a part of us.  He wants all of our love, energy, passion, and thoughts.  He is a consuming fire, and if we surrender to Him, submit our will, and abandon our lives in this world, we will find eternal life.

What are you scrupulous for?  What pleases your heart?  Do your actions match your words? 

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