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The Signal Word: Write a Conclusion Using Paul’s Technique

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

Therefore I urge you to imitate me. (1 Corinthians 4:16, NIV

A Word For Writers

My high school math teacher explained how to write a geometry proof. Write a conclusion on one side of the page. In the opposite column, list reasons the statement is true. Repeat the process until you connect the dots to your point.

The theorem always ended with the “therefore” sign – three dots placed in an upright triangle –as a signal of its logical conclusion.

Paul, trained as an attorney, used the same approach in explaining truths about God. He made a logical argument and then summarized his point by connecting the dots using a signal word – “therefore” – to write a conclusion. For instance ...

  • There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
  • Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith (Galatians 6:10).
  • Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil (Ephesians 6:13).

The word for “therefore” appears 526 times in the New Testament. One of my early spiritual mentors explained that in scripture, the word “therefore” is a signal. “When you see ‘therefore,’ check to see what it’s there for,” he said. 

It’s a way to write a conclusion that connects the dots logically and makes your point clear for your reader.

A Wise Word

Write a conclusion that connects the dots for your reader.

A Word To Pray

Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you are a God of logic. You offer reason after reason to explain points I need to know. Help me to write conclusions that connect the dots for my readers, too.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.


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