Braking or Breaking?

One of the reasons why English is such a difficult language for people to learn is because there are many words which sound the same, but have very different meanings. You can only understand which word is intended by the context of the sentence in which the word is used. In order to understand the meaning of one word, you have to understand the implication of the whole sentence. Not easy for beginners!

Let’s look for a moment at the two words ‘braking’ and ‘breaking’. The pronunciation of each word is identical, but their meanings are radically different.

If you are driving a car and braking – it means that you have put your foot on the brakes and the car is being brought to a stop.  If you fail to use the brakes when there is danger ahead then you could discover the hard way the meaning of the other word – breaking, as you hit another vehicle or a brick wall!

I recently had reason to meditate on the spiritual significance of these two words. It seemed to me that there had been a large number of people I had ministered to down the years who had failed to apply the brakes to a direction in which their life had been heading and, before very long, they discovered the hard way what the word breaking means. They had hit a spiritual brick wall and their life had begun to fall apart. If only they had applied the brakes before it was too late. If you fail to use the brakes, breaking could be the result.

To ignore the warnings of Scripture, about all sorts of ungodly beliefs and practices, is like keeping your foot on the accelerator when there is danger all around. One of the commonest things that people say when looking at the breaking that has happened in their lives, as a result of a failure to apply the brakes to the direction they were going, is “Why didn’t someone tell me this would be the result?” That sounds a good question, but the fact is, God has spoken very clearly to us in His Word.

We read that There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs:16: 25).  At all times we need to check whether what seems right to us really is in line with Scripture – otherwise we might very quickly learn the difference between braking and breaking!

Too often in recent days I have had reason to grieve over the dismissal of Scripture’s authority in favour of what seems to be good. I learnt long ago that fallen man is incapable of being the arbiter of what is right and true. We need God’s Word to understand what is right and true and, therefore, when to apply the brakes. It’s time that the authority of Scripture should be restored in both the Church and in our personal lives. Otherwise we will discover the hard way the breaking that can happen when we fail to apply the brakes, and have to live with the terrible consequences of not understanding the difference between these two very important words.

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