The prefix "dis" means to do the opposite of, to deprive of, and to exclude or expel from.  It’s where we get some very popular words:

  • Dislocate– to force something out of its right place- to disrupt.
  • Disappoint– to fail to fulfill the expectation or hope of.
  • Disarray– a state of disorder or confusion.
  • Disable– to disqualify, to make unable to perform by or as if by illness, injury, or malfunction.
  • Disfigure– to spoil the appearance of.
  • Disassociate– to detach from community or partnership.
  • Discontent– uneasiness of mind.
  • Disdain– to look on with scorn.
  • Discourage– to deprive of courage or confidence, to hinder by disfavoring, to attempt to dissuade.
  • Discombobulate– to upset and/or confuse.
  • Disembowel– eviscerate
  • Disaster– a sudden or great misfortune.
  • Disease– an abnormal bodily condition that impairs normal functioning and can usually be recognized by signs and symptoms.

  And I especially like (or don’t like!) this one:

  • Disgorge– to vomit, to discharge forcefully or confusedly.

I’m disheartened that many churches exhibit these dis qualities.  As I go back through that list above, I begin to understand why many people have discontinued their involvement in local churches.  It’s no wonder many people are discontent with churches today.  Churches have left a horrible distaste of dispute, discrimination and dysfunction.

I met with a 20 year old yesterday who is frustrated by the diunity he sees in Christian circles.  Back in his hometown he sees one church leader discrediting other leaders, he sees discord and disharmony among congregations.  And across our continent, I see it too.  So many of our churches are filled with dishonesty and dishonor.  I can’t blame people for being disillusioned, disinterested and disgusted with churches.  We are disorienting people by our disposal to disintegration and dissension.

My prayer is that our churches would focus on some less evident dis words like these:

  • DISPATCHto send off or away with promptness.  What if instead of sending people away from our churches out of disgust we actually sent people out on a mission to their communities out of passion?
  • DISPLAYto unfold, to present to view, to make evident.  What if instead of being disloyal to the Gospel, we actually lived out the Gospel?  What if we disclosed the message and power and life of Jesus Christ through our integrity and humility and love?
  • DISCIPLE– one who accepts to spread the teachings of another.  What if instead of focusing on discipline or disagreement we focused on being disciples of Jesus Christ.  If we truly became a people determined to spread the teachings of Jesus, we’d disembark on a mutual mission in our communities rather than disengage because of our disjointed existence.  Let’s follow Jesus today together- as disciples dispatched to display his Good News.


By the way, I especially like this one too:

Disco– a popular dance music characterized by hypnotic rhythm, repetitive lyrics, and electronically produced sounds.

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