My parents are very religious (Christian). My mother is always relating these little acronyms and has plaques and such on the wall with these acronyms.
For example, my daughter was wearing a Christmas shirt that said “Joy” on it. I overheard my mother saying “You know what Joy means? Jesus, Others, You” (as in order of precedence I suppose). Of course, that’s not what joy actually means.
She has a wall-hangy thing that says FAITH - “Forsaking All I Trust Him”. And there are more.
I did a quick web search for “Christian acronyms” and oh my goodness, there are TONS of them! For example, the first google result is this site, which seems to be a collection of ones the blogger has come across:
Now, we have a lot of acronyms at work and in the government and business of course. We all love our acronyms. But in business/government/etc., they are usually a shortened name for a product or a process or something that would be cumbersome to refer to spelled out - like it’s much easier to say “NORAD” than “North American Aerospace Defense Command”. And yes, many of the acronyms are “backronyms” where the letters were picked first then they came up with the words they stand for. But still, they stand for things or companies or something.
But the Christian ones puzzle me - they are used completely differently. Of course, they’re usually “backronyms” as well, where the word exists first and the “meaning” is made to fit the word. But I guess my question is, why? Why are these so popular? There are literally thousands of these acronyms that don’t exactly take the place of longer terms in normal speech, so they don’t fill the usual purpose of acronyms. They seem to be primarily made to put on signs and shirts and such.
What’s the purpose of these? Why are there so many? Is it just that it’s a “fun” thing to think up new religious sentences based on existing words?
I’m not trying to put them down or anything, I’m genuinely curious. I mean, there are lots of these! Do other religions have the same kind of thing? If not, why not?