• Post published:April 2, 2024
  • Post category:Faith

Can you imagine learning English as your second language?  Even for those whose native language is English; it can be confusing. We have homonyms such as sea and see. Why do we pronounce and/or spell two different words the same? Then there are synonyms. Why do different words have similar meanings?

Antonyms are opposites, which is easier. However, the one that is most baffling to me are the antonyms which are contronyms. They are spelled the same but have opposite meanings! Go figure! Below are 4 such contronyms. Can you think of their dual meanings?

Even though you probably knew the answers, I can’t leave unanswered questions, now, can I?

Strike – Unless we are playing baseball, “hitting” something is striking it. Then it’s 1, 2, 3, strikes we are out because we “missed hitting” the ball.

Bolt – If a bear is chasing us, what do we do? We bolt by “running” quickly. Once we reach home, we “fasten” the door to keep the bear out by bolting it closed.

Left – You could be the last one left who “remains” in the room. However, when you have left, everyone will have “departed.”

Dust – We dust our cake by “adding” sugar on top. Then we have to clean up the mess by dusting the table to “remove” it!


Whether it’s a normal antonym or a crazy contronym, the world is full of opposites, isn’t it? Did you know there is even a National Opposite Day on January 25th?

The Lord however, doesn’t need a special day for opposites. The Lord’s teachings are full of them and relevant every day. I guess we could say His teachings are antonyms to the world’s view.

But God chose
what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise,
and God chose
what the world thinks weak to shame the strong.
 God chose what is low and despised in the world,
what is regarded as nothing,
to set aside what is regarded as something,
1 Corinthians 1:26-28 NET



Doesn’t the world tell us to hate our enemy? Isn’t that the opposite of what Jesus taught; to love our enemies?

Jesus says,
 “You have heard that it was said,
 ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I tell you, love your enemies
 and pray for those who persecute you,”
 Matthew 5:43-44 NIV

What does hate do for us? Besides hardening our hearts, dwelling on it fills us with unforgiveness, depression and a host of negative outcomes.  Love is much better for our hearts.


Looks, home, job, car, etc. Isn’t the world’s perception of a person based on things they see on the outside?  How about the Lord’s perception of a person? It’s based on the opposite; their character, their heart. When we follow the Lord’s example looking at a person’s heart, we may find a hidden treasure of kindness, loyalty, wisdom and love.

For the Lord does not see as man sees;
for man looks at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart,
1 Samuel 16:’7b


What does the world say when we are short on cash? Hold tight to our money!

God’s Word says to generously and cheerfully give. When we are short of money, these opposites feel like a tug of war! However, God’s Word doesn’t say give only if we feel we can afford it. That’s where faith comes in. When in faith, we give the amount He directs and trust God who loves us to provide, we will be rewarded.

Remember this:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows generously
 will also reap generously,
 2 Corinthians 9:6 NIV


When something bad happens doesn’t the world say, “complain”? What happens when we repeatedly complain telling everyone how awful something is?  The negative feelings just grow into unforgiveness.

Jesus teaches us to do the opposite by giving thanks in everything. Not just the good stuff, but everything. It doesn’t mean letting people take advantage of us.  It does mean by faith we trust the Lord with the outcome knowing that He can work even the bad things for our good, (Romans 8:28). It’s not easy, but rather than unforgiveness, we will have peace.

In everything give thanks;
 for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,
 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Just as the world’s view are antonyms to Jesus’ teachings, the results are antonyms too. Adopting the world’s view results in hatred, anxiety, depression and disease. Following Jesus’s teachings results in the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
 longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 
gentleness, self-control,
Galatians 5:22-23


And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable
and perfect will of God,
Romans 12:2


Which results do you experience, the world’s or Jesus’?


Heavenly Father, as I write, Galatians 5:22-23, and say it aloud, help me to live by faith following Your teachings. As a result, I thank you for filling me with the fruit of the Spirit. In Jesus name. Amen.


May your day be filled with love and laughter!

*For information on making Jesus Christ your Savior, email me or visit,

Photo penguins, Angela Hobbs
Photo dogs, Meritt Thomas