Etymology is a snooty synonym for the study of the origin of words. For seniors who gum their applesauce, wordsmithing can be a sport. Words are teams; letters are players. Move just one player, and you can change the outcome of the game.
Let’s scrimmage with two words that are quite similar: profess and confess. Some of their respective meanings are virtually palindromic. (Sorry, but all my life I’ve been waiting for a sentence to plug that word in.)
Parse these two words long enough, and you arrive at opposing definitions.
Profess is to take the initiative to proclaim or declare that something is true.
Whereas confess is to be cornered to admit, reveal, acknowledge or disclose something which the subject would prefer to keep quiet.
The night before Jesus hung in our place on the cross, His buddy Peter could’ve stormed the kangaroo courts as the Son of God was being framed. It was his moment to shine, to courageously profess that he was a friend of the Accused. Instead, he cowardly denied knowing Him. He was too scared to profess and refused to confess.
How about you? Are you pro or con?
“Stand up for Me against world opinion, and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33