Here’s Why [Christian Phrases Style]

I’m just gonna say it…Christians say some stupid things. We think we are being helpful, wise, spiritual, encouraging, and Godly, but in reality we are sticking our big feet in our big mouth.

There are quite a few phrases within the Church that get under my skin. I suspect you feel similarly. Here are the Top 10 Christian phrases I would rather not hear again…starting with…

1. “I’ll pray for you.”  This is a little tricky, because I don’t want to judge someone when they say this. I really want to believe that when someone says this, they will actually pray. However, I suspect that Christians throw this out there to either make someone feel good or because it’s become a habit for them to say.

Side note: I take this phrase very seriously and I want you to know that when I say that I will pray for you, I will.

2. “Quiet time.” To be completely honest-I detest this phrase. It does not exist anywhere in the Bible (the concept does to some point, perhaps), but we throw this around like it’s law. Always asking “did you have your ‘quiet time’ today?” “Don’t forget your ‘quiet time.’ ” It just falls out of our mouths. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to set aside a time to be quiet before the Lord, but what about the crazy times, the exhausting times, the confusing times-pretty much throughout our day and throughout our life?

3. “I don’t feel led.” Just say what you mean. More often than not, it’s not that we “don’t feel led,” but rather, we just don’t want to. Instead of being honest, we blame God, as if He was directing us elsewhere. Don’t point fingers, just take responsibility and be honest with people.

4. “It was the Lord’s will…” when something fails. This is not always the case, but I’ve watched as this phrase has become an all encompassing excuse for irresponsibility or sin. Perhaps a ministry, or church, or (worst of all) a marriage failed because responsible parties allowed it to fail. Perhaps it really wasn’t “the Lord’s will.”

5. “Walk with the Lord.” I don’t dislike this slogan, so much as I think it has become cliché. Also, we say this in front of nonbelievers constantly and they must be wondering, “What does that even mean?”

6. “Invite Jesus into your heart.” I don’t despise this Christian-ism, however, I think it’s not entirely scriptural. This phrase fails to communicate the fact that a life devoted to Christ is our goal–total and complete surrender, nothing less.

7. “Jesus loves you.” It is completely 100% true. He does love you…and me. But a bumper sticker or saying it in sarcasm isn’t the way to communicate His love. Action is.

8. “Lord be here” or “Holy Spirit come” when we are praying.  As a follower of Christ, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, and God has promised us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. So to pray for Him to be with us seems to be a little overkill, or worse- that we don’t believe He already is.

9. “Give it to God” – While as a believer, I do lay my burdens at the feet of God in prayer, I often hear this when I open up and go to a brother/sister in Christ over some major problem in my life that I can’t solve. “Give it to God” has become a Christian-y non-answer that people who have no advice give to get off easy. I’d rather just hear someone say “I wish I had an answer for you, but I don’t. The best you can do is pray, and I’ll pray with you.”

10. “The Proverbs 31 Woman.” I have a beef with the “Proverbs 31 woman.” Well, not her exactly, but the pressure those passages place on women. The amount of pressure this passage puts on women is ridiculous. It makes us feel like we have to be married with kids in order to be considered a woman of God. It’s just not true. You can be single and serving the Lord just as well (if not better) than if you’re married.

I know you have some to add and I can’t wait to hear them! What Christian phrases would you rather not hear again? What Christian-isms really get under your skin?


6 thoughts on “Here’s Why [Christian Phrases Style]

  1. “I’ll pray about it” If you don’t want to, just tell me- don’t use God as a cop out.

    “Worship was great today” Worship isn’t just singing songs, people! It’s how you live your life.

    As a side note, I would say that “Proverbs 31 Woman” shouldn’t be applied the way it often is to unmarried women. Verse 10 says “A wife of noble character who can find.” I would take that to mean that this passage is outlining what a wife and mother should look like, not what every woman should look like.

    • I totally agree with “I’ll pray about it.” Sometimes that’s a good thing to do, but lately it’s just becoming a cop-out so that we don’t have to do something.

      “Worship was great today.” I completely forgot about that one! Good point, worship certainly is not just singing, it’s definitely a lifestyle and mindset.

      Thanks for your input Moriah!

  2. Much agreed. #5-6 bother the living tar out of me! When people play the “God’s will” or “God told me” cards I always want to point them to Deut 18:15-22 or 13:1-5 where anyone who claims to speak for God (and hasn’t really heard clearly from him) gets stoned. That would make those cliches go away real fast. Saying you heard from God is a big deal – and I wish more people would just man up (or woman up) and be honest like you said, instead of ending a relationship because it’s “not God’s will.” It’s a horrible (and nearly blasphemous) cop out that makes me mad. I could go on, but you get the point…

    “It was a God thing” – I know I might get a lot of kickback on this one, but I cringe every time I hear someone say it. I know a lot of well-meaning and dear people who use this phrase, but it still bothers me. Really, God did something great in your life and all you can say is that it’s a “God thing”? You can’t come up with more descriptive words? And, technically, everything is a “God thing” – He holds it all together, but Paul was able to say that a lot more beautifully and accurately.

    The biggest thing that bothers me is bad theology and improper analogies in our worship (don’t even get me started on bad praise songs) and also in our corporate prayers. Like: “Father God… thank you for dying on the cross for us.” = Trinity FAIL. The Father did not die for us, Jesus (the 2nd person of the Trinity) did. Same God, different person. There’s a big difference there.

    Anyways, I enjoyed the post, Hannah.

    By the way, #7 reminds me of a quote by Keith Green I read recently:

    “It pains me to see the beautiful truths of Scripture being plastered about like beer advertisements. Many think it is wise to “get the word out” in this way but, believe that we are really just inoculating the world with bits and pieces of truth – giving them their “gospel shots.” (And we’re making it hard for them to “catch” the real thing!) People become numb to the truth when we splash our gaudy sayings in their eyes at every opportunity. Do you really think this is “opening them up to the Gospel”? Or is it really just another way for us to get smiles, waves, and approval from others in the “born-again club” out in the supermarket parking lot, who blow their horns with glee when they see your “Honk if you love Jesus!” bumper sticker?”

    • “Ending a relationship because it’s “not God’s will.” It’s a horrible (and nearly blasphemous) cop out that makes me mad.” Oh, I completely agree. This is so not true, and not biblical in any sense.

      “It was a God thing.” Oh, I physically cringe when I hear this. I must admit though, I’m guilty of saying it. Sometimes it really IS a “God thing” but we can ALWAYS say so much more than just that. Good point!

      Bad theology and improper analogies make me want to hit something sometimes. Bleh. Hate it.

      Great quote, so very true. Thanks for sharing Jason! Great insight/thoughts.

    • “He/she is anointed.” Sometimes I just want to know what people mean when they say that! It sounds good, but what do they really even mean?

      “Powerful time of worship.” Oh, this one irks me. Personally I think worship isn’t just singing, but even then, it’s your attitude towards the worship being played that matters. If your heart’s in the right place, then it should be powerful.

      Thanks for your input Jesse!


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