The author of What We Talk About When We Talk About God shares a few words that can change how you think about yourself—and the world. Buy tickets to see Rob Bell on tour with Oprah this fall.

4. The Word: Splagchnon (Greek)

What it means: "The deep place within us where our desires reside. Splagchnon translates literally as bowel or intestines or guts or innards. It came to refer to the part of you from which you truly live, the seat of your being that drives you to move and act and touch and feel."

When—and how—to use it: "[When] we need to face and know and name and embrace all that is true about us, from our fears and addictions and doubts and guilt to our dreams and desires and hopes and longings."

Why we need it: "What happened in the Western world several hundred years ago is that the rational dimensions of our being gained a prominence over other ways of knowing. This had a powerful effect, leading many of us to discount the very real and reliable information our bodies are constantly absorbing from the world around us. This isn't just about listening and trusting our bodies, but also about the far more important responsibility we have to honor them as the gifts they are."

5. The Word: Echad (Hebrew)

What it means: "A unity made up of many parts."

When to use it: "We have an intuitive awareness that everything is ultimately connected to everything else. When you get a glimpse of what someone else has gone through or is currently in the throes of and you find yourself inextricably, mysteriously linked with that person because you have been reminded again of our common humanity."

Why we need it: "We live in a dis-integrated culture, in which headlines and opinions and images and sound bites pound us with their fragmented, frantic, isolated blips and squeaks, none of it bound together by any higher unity, coherence, or transcendent reference point. This fragmentation can easily shape us, convincing us that things aren't one. But everything has a singular, common source and is infinitely, endlessly, deeply connected. We are involved, all of us. And it all matters."

What We Talk About When We Talk About God Adapted and excerpted from What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell.

Rob Bell's eCourse will help you find joy and meaning in the fabric of every day life. His six lesson course, through practical tools and tips, will help students experience life as a gift.Join Now.

More on the Power of Words


Next Story