Deuteronomy 13:4: From “gotta to gitta”


Verse 4 of Deuteronomy 13 incorporates the conjunction “and,” the most frequently used word in the King James Version of the Bible, being used 28,364 times.  The figure of speech known as polysyndeton involves using “many ands” where is there is emphasis placed on each item listed in any series connected by the conjunction. This figure is particularly noteworthy in the Verse of the Day for October 9, 2013, where “and” is used five times, symbolic of God’s grace.

The Amplified Bible renders the Verse of the Day in this way:

 You shall walk after the Lord your God

and [reverently] fear Him,

and keep His commandments

and obey His voice,

and you shall serve Him

and cling to Him

In reflecting upon the first three “ands” incorporated into the verse, “…walk …and fear…and keep…and obey…, “  I thought of the familiar hymn “Trust and Obey” which is magnificently displayed in the following video:

The fourth “and” indicates that we must “serve” the Lord, the phrase which brings to mind the song of commitment by Steve Green, “I Will Serve the Lord,” illustrated so powerfully in this video:

The final “and” precedes the phrase “cling to Him” which is expressed in a contemporary song “Cling to the Lord” by K-hos who perform on the following video which is dedicated to David Garcia:

The Verse of Day provides great exhortation as to what believers must do each day. Our actions are distilled into six verbs: “walk, fear, keep, obey, serve and cling.” In one sense, we could look upon this verse as indicating six actions on our daily “to do list,” actions that we have to do or “got to do.”  I suggest, however, making an adjustment in how we think about essential things that we “got to do.”  A number of years ago, a dear friend, Dr. Dale Sides , introduced the concept of changing our attitude from what we must do or “got to do” to thinking about what we have the privilege to do or “get to do.”  I shared the concept of changing our thinking from “gotta” to “gitta” with a friend and fellow teacher, Yolanda Stewart, who suggested that I express that concept in a poem to show just how important making such an attitude adjustment can be.  The poem seems ideally suited to the demands expressed in Deuteronomy 13:4:

From “Gotta” to “Gitta“

For Yolanda Stewart

 with gratitude to Dr. Dale Sides

who introduced the concept


Little biddy things can happen that don’t make sense.

Changing one little letter makes a big difference.

Subtle changes in the words we speak can change our mood:

From “gotta” to “gitta” shows a whole new attitude.


“I ‘gotta’ go to work and pass the time away”

Becomes “I ‘gitta’ go to work; I have a job today!”

“I ‘gotta’ take care of these kids—that’s another world”

Becomes “I ‘gitta’ nurture those who will someday change the world!”


Work heartily for the Lord whatever you do.

Remember in the end that He will reward you.

You may not agree with me, but it’s still so true,

Especially when you face tasks you don’t “wanna” do.

Some doors may close, but this key to life you will find:

Put off the old, put on the new–renew your mind.

“ ‘Gotta’ to ‘gitta’ ” is thinking of another kind.

Move ahead in faith, and you won’t be left behind.


We have to change in the midst of these changing times.

Standing on the mountain top is the one who climbs.

Changing how we think and what we say does make sense;

From “gotta” to “gitta” makes a really big difference.


The poem also brings to mind that October is “Positive Attitude Month,” an occasion that I discuss in a recently posted article that readers can access with this link:

Positive Attitude Month: Being positive makes a difference

Once again, the Verse of the Day was most stimulating in a number of ways.

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