The One Word That Best Describes Us


A number of years ago during a political debate, the candidates were asked to describe themselves in one word. They were given a few minutes to ponder and then they gave their responses. Identifying one word, which sums up one’s life, is a pretty daunting task. There are so many words that are positive and, of course, many that are not so positive. As with the candidates, none of us would probably use a negative word to describe who we are. A more focused concept in identifying the truthfulness of who we are would be to ask others to give a word that best describes us. That would be interesting!

A couple of years ago I was talking with one of my sisters. Somehow the conversation turned to a relative and she used a positive word to describe her personality. I replied, “It’s interesting you should use that word because I have heard many people use that one word to describe her over the years”. Then I said, “I have been married over 30 years to my wife. There is one word that people constantly use to describe my wife. What word do you think that is?” She didn’t hesitate and immediately said the word I was thinking of.  When people hear our name, what comes to their mind?

I’m sure there is no “one” word that can catch-all of who we are or represent, but if it could, wouldn’t we want that word to be a positive word. Words like, “selfish”, “stern”, “unfriendly”, “standoffish” or “mean”, are probably not words we would like to have associated with our names. I’m sure we would like to have our names wrapped in positive words. The keeper and holder of all of those positive words is the Savior Jesus Christ. He is our exemplar. He is the pattern. He  holds the attributes that we should desire to have associated with our names because they are Godly!

A few years ago Carlos Amado said, “Service is a characteristic of His (Christ) followers- a divine quality.” (“Service, a Divine Quality”). Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone use the word “servant’ to describe us? In a worldly sense “servant” wouldn’t be a word most would choose to have associated with their name. But in the realm of heaven, it is the most godly!

All of us are passing through this life. We will leave behind a legacy. I hope all of us want to leave this world a better place. May our tombstones be monuments and reminders to those who knew us, of the attributes of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

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