God gave Adam the task of naming the animals. And certainly, there’s power in being able to see and name what is. This allows us to better understand the world around us and our place in it. But naming reality is not the same as creating it. To call a rose by any other name doesn’t change the sweet aroma God has given it to reveal.
To be sure, we shouldn’t take our ability to name things lightly. Our words have the power to bring life and death, and we must use this power with care – building each other up and bringing more of God’s light and beauty into the world.
But the power of our words does not make us God. God spoke and brought creation into existence. And our speech simply brings language to his created order. Our words don’t change the nature of reality itself.
And this calls for a humble dignity – to boldly use our words to bring fresh insights to the world God has given us, while remembering reality is a gift for us to receive and not make on our own terms.
We neglect our responsibility to rule and reign when we don’t exercise our authority to name the realities God has given us. We can faithfully explore and creatively express God’s truth, goodness, and beauty wherever it’s found.
But this is an authority we exercise humbly – never assuming we can redefine God’s order on our terms. Not only is this foolish, reality has a way of biting back when we don’t honor it. It’s best to befriend it and discover the many freedoms from within.
In the end, use your words to speak life and name reality every chance you get. But remember, naming reality is not changing reality. Truth still remains Truth by any other name.