May I Have Your Attention Please? - Radiant

The Radiant Blog

Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg

I really enjoy etymology - the study of the origin of words and how their meanings change. It’s intriguing to see how language is a kind of living, breathing thing that evolves over time.

Some words, like fantastic, sick, and awful have changed significantly, while others have only experienced a slight shift. But even those slight shifts can carry with them strong connotations.

Take the word ‘advertising’ as an example. Following is the Wikipedia breakdown of the etymology of it:

Etymology of the word Advertising

What catches me in that is the idea that the original Latin meant: to “turn toward”.

Today, I think the synonyms for advertising that people would be more likely to use (if they were honest), would be words like: manipulate, sell, push, and spin. Harsh words. Interruptive words.

But to get someone to ‘turn toward’…that feels different.

After all, don’t we all want that? Doesn’t every single one of us have something in our lives that we want others to ‘turn toward’? Perhaps it’s your brain child - that killer product or service. Maybe it’s an idea or a political bent. Perhaps it’s just you, yourself that you want others to ‘turn toward’.

Or perhaps, it’s something else:

Of course, for those of you that work in Christian ministry, what you advertise - the thing that you want people to ‘turn toward’ - is Jesus.

That being the case, I say advertise away my friends, and by His grace, may many people ‘turn towards’ Him as a result.