Let me set the record straight before delving into this list of four things Christians should stop saying.
I am not bashing Christians, or Christianity here.
I honestly think the phrases below (and many more) have already done enough damage.
Millennials (and most other generations) want authenticity when it comes to the topic of spirituality and faith. Pumping out cliche’ after cliche’ will not help bring your genuine faith into focus, it will only make it harder for others to accept. I’m pretty sure none of us want to be labeled a phony…but we probably could name some along the way through various experiences. That being said, let’s stop “playing” church and start living for Christ. Let’s stop harping on other people and start focusing on our own issues.
4 “Christian” Phrases That We Should Stop Saying:
1. God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.
I’m sorry, but does God really give us problems in life?
Sure, He can send us to some very difficult places like He did with the Apostle Paul and the other disciples, but does He really afflict us with “stuff”? Is that what this phrases is all about? The fact of the matter is that life, especially to a Christ-follower’s life, WILL be difficult from time to time. The Apostle Paul doesn’t say “Hey guys, things are going great and God hasn’t given me more than I can handle…” No! He talks a lot about finishing the race, perseverance, persistence, and difficulties. Next time you think about uttering this phrase please think it through. Perhaps life has thrown curve balls at us now and again, but God will provide us the strength to make it through. Sometimes life IS more than we can handle, so don’t “sell” something that isn’t always true!
2. God helps those who help themselves.
This phrase honestly is my #1 pet peeve.
People sometimes fire this verbal artillery shell towards people who seem lazy or poor and unwilling to work. I have found this phrase to be detestable when used in this fashion. It’s judgmental. It’s ignorant…and it’s wrong. Please find that passage in the bible…It’s not there. The phrase was actually made famous by Benjamin Franklin’s book Poor Richard’s Almanac in 1757, but in actuality is attributed to Algernon Sydney in 1698. God in fact does help those who can’t help themselves. Isn’t that, after all, what Christ demonstrated in His death on the cross? “While we were still sinner (helpless), Christ died” (Romans 5:8).
In Jesus’ ministry, He often took pity on those who could not help themselves.
If we are to emulate Christ in every way shouldn’t we do likewise and in so doing ditch this erroneous “Christian” phrase?
3. Name it and claim it!
“If you believe hard enough, it can be yours”
“If you pray hard enough for money and that new car, it can be yours…you just need to name it and claim it”…um NO.
Such “name it and claim it” philosophies are just flat out wrong. I should clarify that Jesus does say “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20), but the “Name it and claim it” philosophy takes this scripture completely out of context. What is the purpose behind our faith and our convictions? Is it to please God? Is it to do His will? OR Is it so we can afford nice stuff, and have lots of money? There’s nothing inherently wrong with money, but if it becomes the thing we worship and in so doing we start “naming and claiming” things just get what WE want, then we have lost sight of God. Stop naming and claiming stuff. It’s not about stuff. It never was. If that’s all we do with this phrase, please, please stop!
4. Everything happens for a reason.
Another misquote of scripture is to use this: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven–A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.…” Ecclesiastes 3:1,2. This phrase sometimes goes right along with “God won’t give you more than you can handle” as sort of an excuse for when it does become more than you can handle. Just chalk it all up to “well everything happens for a reason”, or (and here’s a twofer) “well maybe it just wasn’t God’s will“.
Truth: Sometimes life has no rhyme or reason. Sometimes thing just happen and it wasn’t in God’s plan. I don’t want to get too theological on this pondering today, but I don’t believe everything is controlled 100% by God. This is where free-will comes in. This is where life comes in. People make choices, both good and bad. People unfortunately die for no fault of their own and I find it extremely hard to say that innocent people died because it was all according to God’s plan or that “Everything (including their death) happened for a reason.” Not that’s not the same thing as God can make something beautiful out of horrible situations, because I do believe He can…but we just can’t go around chalking everything up to it happening for a reason. Sometimes there just isn’t a good reason.
These are just 4 Phrases that we should stop saying.
I know that there are more, and I know that not everyone will agree with me.
But, for what it’s worth, here is something more to ponder today.
God Bless You!