yah, yah…I’ve heard this cliché before and honestly, I’m not a strong supporter of Christian platitudes. You know the one…“When God Closes A Door…He opens a window.” There is truth to these words but they are often glibly given as a quick fix to a deep issue in a person’s life and therefore, often not received well.
Here are some of the clichés I’ve heard over the years.
Christians don’t have discussions – they “share.”
“Everything happens for a reason.”
Christians are “on fire for God.”
“I like extreme worship.” (What IS that, anyways?)
Christians don’t gossip – they share “prayer requests.”
Christians say, “Bless your heart!”
Christians don’t get together – they have “fellowship.”
“God helps those who help themselves.” (This is NOT in the Bible)
Christians give “testimonies” or “praise reports” – they don’t tell stories.
“I don’t put God in a box.”
Christians don’t get depressed – they experience a “spirit of heaviness.”
Christians don’t have good days, they “get the victory!”
Christians often say, “I’ll pray for you” and “All things work together for good” and “God is in control.”
Christians say, “I’m forgiven, not perfect.”
Christians don’t make decisions – they’re “led by the Spirit.”
“Let go and let God.”
It’s important to acknowledge here that many of these verbal responses do indeed reflect biblical truth but the words become meaningless because they are part of overused and tired phrases, often used out of context or to fill the awkward silence.
Often, the right response is active listening and a heart-felt hug. People don’t need nifty formulas – they need connection and caring. People don’t need to be dismissed with empty platitudes – they need to be loved with authenticity. Hurting people see right through fake, distant responses and cliché answers fit right in that pocket.
I got a good chuckle this morning when I was listening to the radio this morning and heard Sherry Rose Shepherd say, “When God closes a door…get your face out of the way and it won’t hurt so much.”
Now, THAT’S a refreshing twist, isn’t it?
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague. William Safire
MAKE A MOMENT TO MUSE
- Have you received these cliches? Have you spoken these cliches?
- Can you think of other Christian cliches that you have experienced?
- In your experience, what do people need most?
speak truth: we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can. 2 Corinthians 2.17 The Message