Monday, August 18, 2014

Whatever Is Negative, Whatever Is Positive

Do you know what one of the most annoying words in the English language is? WHATEVER! Can you hear it in your head right now? Maybe used in frustration - "WHAT-EVER!!!"- emphasis on both syllables.Or maybe you're picturing a teen rolling their eyes & grumbling "what-EV-rrr." And it can also be a very hurtful word when words, ideas, etc., are being dismissed & so is the person.

There's also the older version of "whatever". Do you remember "Whatever floats your boat". Used over & over, this too can become very annoying. But generally, it was not used in a stern, negative far as i can remember. 
Or, if you are a country music fan, you might remember The Statler Brothers & their humorous love song.:

Statler Brothers

I'll give you
Whatever bangs your shutter,
Whatever melts your butter,
Whatever, whatever pops your corn,
Or blows your horn.
Whatever peels your banana,
Whatever plays your piano,
Whatever, whatever mows your lawn.
Let's go on.

Whatever it takes to make it better for you,
Whatever it takes to make you happy, I'll do.

Whatever lights your candle,
Whatever turns your handle,
Whatever, whatever fries your chicken.
Let's do a little pickin'.


Whatever cocks your pistol,
Whatever toots your whistle,
Whatever, whatever sails your boat,
Or gets your goat.

Whatever plows your garden,
Whatever begs your pardon,
Whatever, whatever bakes your bread.
Let's go ahead.

Whatever you want, you can always count on me.
Whatever you need, you know I will always be.

Whatever slays your dragon,
Whatever paints your wagon,
Whatever it takes to show your stuff,
That's enough

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me (Paul), or seen in me - put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV)

Probably, Paul would not agree that "whatever" was one of the most annoying words. Instead, he wrote that "whatever" was a word that summed up all the good things in life. And he instructed to use the word in considering all that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. Then he finished with the instruction to think about these wonderful qualities & put them into practice. In return, you will receive God's peace.

How do you use the word "whatever"?  I admit that i have used this word in an annoying way - a negative way. But have you ever thought that "whatever" can present us with a spiritual opportunity? We can use "whatever" as a dismissing - i'm going to ignore you, your ideas, you - etc. Instead, how about turning "whatever" to the positive side by looking for the positive side of people & circumstances. The choice is up to each one of us. 

One way to apply the positive side, is to make a list of things that are excellent & praiseworthy gifts from God... books, music, family, friends, etc. Then reflect on how these things enrich your life. Then think about your annoyances - or "whatevers" in your life. Ask God to help you to replace the annoyances with the thoughts of  "whatever" is lovely.

I think last night - or should i say early this morning, God was preparing me for this post today. I usually wake up when my pain pill wears off & that happened about 1:15 or so this morning. I got up, took another pill, went to the bathroom & came back to my recliner/bed. And, as usual, wasn't sure if i would be able to go back to sleep. When i can't get back to sleep in about an hour, i usually think "whatever" & get up. But last night, in my mind, i was singing, "Heaven came down & glory filled my soul. When at the cross, my savior made me whole.....". I don't remember exactly where in the song that i fell back to sleep. I just know that a negative "whatever" was turned into a positive "whatever".

(Today's post is dedicated to my friend Chris. She knows why.)


  1. I'm guilty of using it in a negative manner! I'd never thought about that verse as a 'whatever' verse, but it sure is. I always think of the Steve Green Hide Em in Your Heart version of that song. Now it will be my ear worm for the rest of the day! Oh whatever...