10 Sep On the Up and Up
I was surprised today to hear someone use the phrase “on the up and up” to mean the revenues of a company were increasing. All my life I thought “on the up and up” meant something was “above board,” “honest,” “legal,” or “trustworthy.” It occurred to me I could be talking with someone about my college and ask if everything is on the “on the up and up” and have them respond “no” because our enrollment did not increase this year. I would have gone away thinking something illegal was going on, when that was absolutely not what the other person meant.
Once again I was reminded of how very important words are and find it amazing that we ever communicate with each other. No wonder nations go to war. How often have we started shooting just because we think someone said something the other did not mean to say?
Using the phrase “on the up and up” with the meaning I always knew, I would to say, “Satan never offers anything “on the up and up.” He promises all manner of good things that always end up in death. His promises are always “on the down and down.” But Jesus is another case. He never breaks a promise. When He says, “In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; . . .” (Ephesians 1:7) He means it. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is always “on the up and up” and you can mean that with either definition.
Written by Roger Bothwell on November 11, 2003.
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