This was Happy Trails in the CBC Post, July 1998
A person does not have to spend very much time shopping for a horse before coming to the conclusion that what a buyer thinks a word or phrase means and what the seller thinks a word or phrase means mare sometimes two different things entirely.
For example, if an ad in the paper says a horse is “gentle” the buyer might take it to mean that the horse is willing to stand quietly and cooperatively for pretty near anything from grooming and saddling to farrier and vet care. On the other hand, everybody who has a horse to sell has put “gentle” in their ad, so it might not mean anything at all. Or if a horse is advertised as “bombproof,” the buyer thinks it means the horse won’t spook around traffic or when pheasants fly up from nowhere. But what it really means is he’s probably so old he doesn’t have the ‘git’ to run away from anything and anyway, at his age, he’s probably seen everything from the horse drawn milk wagon to space shuttle and you couldn’t scare him if you wanted to.
I ran across this list in Horses USA magazine:
What the ad says What it really means
“Friendly” comes up to you in the pasture,
but you won’t be able to catch him.
“good with kids” doesn’t like adults much,
might have a sore back
“man’s horse” you’ll have to be a weight
lifter to stop this one
“needs experienced rider” bucks, spooks, runs away, rears
“good prospect” the horse may be able to
perform as required in a few years
“green-broke” halter broke
“halter broke” once looked at a halter
“loves trails” hates arenas
“successfully shown” no one was killed at the one
schooling show he was taken to
There’s probably a lot more a person could add, but you get the idea.
I’m thankful that God’s Word does not require any tricky interpretations. It says what it means, plain and simple. When it says, “You shall not commit adultery” Ex 20:15, it means you shall not commit adultery. It doesn’t mean, “You really shouldn’t commit adultery, but go ahead if you really can’t resist.”
And when it says, “You shall not steal” Ex 20:15, it means you shall not steal. It doesn’t mean, “You really shouldn’t steal, but if your broke, go ahead.” What do you suppose it means when it says, “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:9 It means God will supply all your needs so you won’t ever have to steal.
It isn’t all on the negative side. It says in 1 John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
And how can we know that this is all the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Because God can’t lie (Numbers 23:19) and it all came from God (2 Timothy 3:16).