‘Modest is Hottest’ & Other Christian Phrases Needing #Elimination
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Ok. This post is a tad cynical, but I must say us Christians have a way of using phrases that a.) no one else understands and that b.) lose meaning because of the frequency we use them. As a lover of language, I think it is vital to the lifeblood of our faith to learn to express ourselves in unique and new ways. We weren’t made to thrive on overused language nor speak to each other in slogans.
It’s easy to spout off Christian phrases to our struggling friends, “God has a plan”, “God loves you”, “He works all things together for good”, without really engaging with them.
It’s common to tell singles to “guard their hearts” or “have a quiet time” without thinking of the implications.
Or to combat homosexuality with the “hate the sin, love the sinner” catch-all that really doesn’t translate all that well. At least from what I’ve observed.
Words have the power to heal and to destroy. Words, as innocent as they are, in combination have the ability to change lives.
Or—as our mission statement says at Thomas Nelson—to “inspire the world”.
I grew up hearing over and over “God loves you”. When life circumstances collided with this idea of a loving God watching out for me, I needed a new, truer way to think about God’s love. Regurgitating ‘God loves me’, wasn’t helping. So I prayed and that’s how I came up with “God is a good Dad.” I needed a picture of God as a loving Father, instead of a cruel punisher.
14 Christian Phrases that Need #Elimination:
1.) God has a plan! While I do believe this is true, it’s overused and in cases has lost meaning. Instead try: God sees you. This is not the end.
2.) You are on my heart. Translation? “You’re a hot mess I pity.” My friend said she hates when people say this to her. Also, don’t say this or “I’m praying for you” if you’re not. I’m guilty, what about you?
3.) God has a wonderful plan for your life. I used to be the queen of saying this because I worked for Campus Crusade (spiritual law #1). Albeit true, it can feel canned and cold.
4.) Guard your heart. Don’t tell single people this. Ever. It’s annoying and ill-defined. Try: “I really hope he doesn’t hurt you. Be careful”.
5.) I don’t feel called_____. This phrase is fine as long as it is genuine and what you really mean is, “I’m looking for an excuse”.
6.) Examine your heart (especially to single people). No. No. No.
7.) God loves you. Try not to say this to singles after they’ve broken up or anyone going through something terrible. I love saying, “God is a good Dad” in these situations.
8.) Modest is hottest. Don’t even get me started on this one. Sharon Hode Miller wrote a beautiful article talking about how this is hurting Christian women. READ IT!
9.) Love on. “I just want to love on her…”—I hear it all the time and used to say it myself. What does that mean? Let’s talk less, and do more.
10.) God works in mysterious ways. Again, true, but not always helpful or empathetic.
11.) Let go and let God. I used to have a magnet with this phrase. Overused. If a phrase belongs on a magnet, then you probably shouldn’t go around spouting it off.
12.) Hate the sin, love the sinner. I’ve mostly heard this phrase used to talk about homosexuality. Are you actually loving the sinner? Or just speaking in slogans?
13.) When you aren’t looking…What? Nothing Biblical or true about God providing a spouse “when we aren’t looking”.
14.) Unspoken. Somewhat of a joke, but who used to sit in Bible study and say, “Unspoken” when it was your turn to say a prayer request? Michael and I laughed really hard about this the other night.
What would you add to the list?
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- Boys to Men | A Guest Post
- Counseling Recommended
- What if I Never Get Married? The Feared Call of Singleness
- Two Choices: A Life With and A Life Without Hope