A Christian by the name of Jeff Bethke has a list of 10 things that Christians should stop saying right now. Tell us if you agree with his conclusions:
Hey guys, Jeff here. There’s a few phrases I hear Christians say a lot that I think sometimes we don’t give thought to what they actually mean or what we’re communicating. I thought I’d make a list of the Top 10 Things I think that we ask Christians should stop saying.
1. The first thing we should stop saying is when something bad happens, I always hear this sometimes people say, “Well, God’s not giving you more than you can handle.” I kind of cringe, because I don’t know how true that really is. I think it’s actually the opposite, I think God gives us way more than we can handle so that we actually have to lean and depend on him as a good and gracious father. When you read the scripture you’ll see that things happened to people almost as a way of God, then allowing them to lean on him and depend on him more.
2. This is a closely related one to number 1, that if something again bad happens, people then also say, “Well, everything happens for a reason.” Even if that’s theologically, technically correct, sometimes it’s deeply, deeply offensive to people who are in hurt or who are in mourning. If something tragic just happens to someone, the one thing they don’t want to hear is, “Well, everything happens for a reason.”
Sometimes things are senseless. Sometimes, there’s evil in the world that rips and shreds things apart. That’s why we have grace in the beauty of Jesus who is victorious over that evil. But just be careful when you say that, because sometimes it’s the last thing someone wants to hear. I think Christians need to learn the ministry of presence. What I mean by that is when things go wrong, they need to learn how to sit in someone’s grief. They need to learn how to just be present. Just be a force and a person of love next to them saying, “Hey, I’m here for you. I love you. We’re in the tranches together.”
3. This one happens a lot of times, in really kind of big churches who usually have the fog and the lights and the electric guitars. Sometimes they, during the service, they usually either say one of two things. They either say, one, “Will all the visitors please stand.” Then they usually give them a clap which I, I mean, that’s gracious and that’s awesome but it’s also exceptionally awkward for the visitors.
Or two, they do that thing where they say, “Okay, 60 seconds, say hi to your neighbor.” Now, I’m all for saying hi to my neighbor but I’d rather do that in the parking lot or in the lobby when it’s not forced. When you give me 60 seconds to say hi to my neighbor and after I say, “Hi, what’s your name?” And then I tell my name and I look at the clock.