While gathering with friends from the east coast I gleaned a new word. Fresh. We sat around the gathering table playing dominoes and a gal from across the table noticed the guy sitting next to me wore a bit of a smirk upon his face and she declared that he was “fresh.” I inquired as to the creative meaning of this familiar word.
When I hear the word fresh, I think of something picked from the vine or ground, a new idea, someone with a burst of energy, something clean and pure, or someone acting a bit presumptuous in a flirty sort of way. Apparently, there remains an additional meaning conveyed by this word. Amongst this sweet group from the northeast, fresh conveys an individual behaving or speaking in a sneaky or sassy manner, perhaps a little presumptuous and edgy.
As my neighbor at the table examined his dominoes, he acted in a fresh manner convinced he would soon be the victor of the game. His confidence evoked a bold and daring manner into his play. Unafraid, he placed his final domino tile revealing the reason for his snarky and fresh attitude.
Fresh – behaviors and attitudes that reveal overconfidence and presumptuous traits.
As I reflect on this new translation of “fresh” I find myself curious to see if I notice similar uses within Scripture. Upon pondering the manner in which Nathan encountered King David in 2 Samuel 12, I wonder if David perceived Nathan’s approach as fresh. Sent by God Nathan told a spirited story which aroused David’s mind and heart. Responding with ire towards the perpetrator of the story, David entered into Nathan’s bold and daring narrative, eventually bringing the proclamation of sin upon himself. Maybe Nathan’s address felt fresh until the moment David submitted to the conviction of God for his sinful thoughts and behaviors. The very nature of Nathan’s fictional account resonated too deeply with the hidden sin within David’s soul. It seems to me that Nathan engaged David in a fresh, cheeky, and presumptive approach which resulted in repentance and renewal.
In what ways have you spoken or behaved in a fresh manner? Have you ever responded in a snarky way, presenting overconfidence, sass, or bold audacity?
Consider Paul’s approach in the Areopagus as recorded in Acts 17. Paul asserts himself with a bold fresh approach:
People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
I wonder if those listening to Paul’s words bristled upon being declared “ignorant?” In boldness Paul proceeded to speak truth, yet with an edge. He delivered fresh words as he described their idols which lacked of power and efficiency.
How did the people respond to Paul’s fresh demeanor? Later in this passage we read that while some people sneered others like Dionysius became followers of God. Like Nathan, Paul’s fresh address brought about transformational change for some.
Lastly, I can’t help but reflect on our mighty triune God, especially in His confrontation with Job. The God of the universe questioned, examined, and inquired of Job with fresh, daring, and provocative phrases. Serious, read Job 38-40. God magnified His dialogue with Job with a degree of sass; notice this in just the first 12 verses of chapter 38:
Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels[a] shouted for joy? “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place,
God engaged with Job in a fresh manner, again resulting in transformative change. Job humbly responds to God:
I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.
Have you ever experienced the nudging of God, being fresh with you, asking sneaky and startling questions within your soul?
Pay attention to the fresh approach of God. God demonstrates ultimate confidence and Truth as He penetrates our soul with His provocative and powerful inquiries. God probes the soul, offerings opportunities for personal reflection, repentance, and renewal by His Spirit.
Sit still and listen for the Lord. Humbly receive His fresh words and meekly surrender yourself to His loving care. If you feel like God or others address you in a sassy fresh manner, examine yourself with the Spirit and live in purity, Truth, and freedom. Let fresh conversation stimulate growth and change for God’s glory and your good.
Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
Matthew 5:17-19 – Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Luke 6:42 – How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
Ray Stedman. Let God Be God: Life-Changing Truths from the Book of Job. Grand Rapids, MI. 2007.
Robert Morris. The Power of Your Words. Minneapolis, MN 2009.
Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
Casting Crowns. Love You With The Truth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwMFX7hUefc
Hillsong Worship. Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiyYoe678yI