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The Metaphor: Use It to Express an Intangible Idea Tangibly

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. (Psalm 119:130, NLT)

A Word For Writers

A metaphor is a figure of speech. You use it to describe one thing by comparing it directly to another.  A metaphor equates the two items as in, “Matt is a couch potato.” 

The Metaphor: a #devotional for #writers based on Ps 119:130 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #ChristianWriting #FreelanceWriting

The metaphor paints in your mind an image of a lump on a sofa. Yet obviously, Matt is not a type of tuber vegetable, but an avid TV watcher who gets very little exercise.

We can identify with these familiar images.

That’s a big reason why God uses metaphors throughout scripture. They help us understand spiritual principles – which can be abstract to our human minds –  in concrete terms and can answer our questions in tangible ways. Here are few examples:

  • You are the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13)
    Why are Christ-followers scattered across the globe?  Just as a bit of salt flavors an entire dish, God sprinkles His followers throughout the culture to reflect Christ.
  • Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and  a light unto my path. (Psalm 110:105)
    Why should I read my Bible? It offers insight into how to live in my daily life.
  • There is one God, the Father. (1 Corinthians 8:6)
    How can I know God loves me when I cannot see Him? God’s love is reflected in the protective, nurturing care of an earthly father.

You can explain an abstract truth with a metaphor. It’s a device that lets you communicate  intangible concepts in tangible terms.

A Wise Word

A metaphor explains an intangible concept in tangible terms.

A Word To Pray

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for using familiar images to help me understand spiritual principles. I want to write with clarity. Show me ways to communicate  intangible concepts in tangible terms.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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