Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Christian phrases to avoid

I will admit that I have lived in a Christian bubble for all of my life.  I have spent most of my life in church, went to church camps, worked at church camps and went to a Christian college.

So sometimes I don't and haven't realized how some phrases we as Christians commonly use come off to those who don't have a relationship with Jesus.  It's only recently when I started reading blogs and comments and articles from non-Christians that my eyes have been opened to things I want to not say.

I'm not talking about being PC or about saying things that are truth but might be offensive to non-Christians.  The Gospel is offensive.  Talking about sin and Hell are offensive.  But a necessary truth to share.

But there are things we say that I don't even think we know sometimes have a negative connotation around non believers and may even be turning them off from the faith that we want them to find.

I'm talking about:

"God never gives us more than we can handle".   That's not scriptural or even true.  We throw that out there but God never said that.  He said in this world we WOULD have trouble but that HE would never leave us or forsake us.  He might give us WAY more than we can handle - but He will be with us sharing the load.

"Everything happens for a reason".  
I love the passage from John 9:1-3 that says

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
I think God does do a lot of things for reasons we will NEVER understand this side of heaven and a lot is for his Glory to be shown but there are also things that happen just merely because sin has entered the world and caused pain and heartache.  
"I'm so blessed"
I've always been taught to not say "lucky".  I've been taught to say "blessed" and to "count my blessings".  And I DO feel so blessed in so many ways.  But does that mean that God loves me more than a mom in a third world county who is watching her children starve to death or is being traded into sex slavery? Or a woman who was born into poverty here in the US to alcoholic parents or was molested as a child? God loves us all equally.  I don't believe the blessings we perceive to have on this earth are in correlation to our goodness.  What we fail to realize is we are on this planet for 70 years or so.  We will spend ETERNITY in heaven and THAT'S where the true rewards will lie.  We can't imagine the great blessings that will heap upon that mother from Uganda who lived in despair here but was faithful to God .  I think many of us who are blessed with health or in financial ways put our faith in that and will be in for a surprise in heaven.  I just cringe to hear people say they are blessed (not that it's a bad thing to feel blessed but that it's not a direct result of God's love for them.)  I try to think of those who have lost a child or a spouse or had financial failure and don't want them to wonder why God has not blessed them.  
I wonder what other phrases you hear Christans say well intentioned that might leave a bad impression on non-believers? 
I want to share Jesus but I also want to be careful not to turn people away. (and I'm not asking what Christians DO to turn people away because we are all sinners and not perfect and no one can live up to expectations.  That's why we need a Saviour!) Look to Jesus - He will never let you down but men sure will. 

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