Top 10 Christian Phrases I Never Want to Hear Again

Some of you may remember the phrases I never want to hear again, like “git ‘er done” and “I’m just sayin’.” This time, I’m picking on Christians (since I am one and all).

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

There are quite a few phrases within the Church that irk me. I’m guessing you feel the same. Here are the Top 10 Christians phrases I never want to hear again…starting with…

1. “Guard your heart.” Yes, this phrase is scriptural and comes from Proverbs 4:23. I have usually heard this snippet of scripture used in reference to a dating relationship. One girl would pray for another, something like this: “Lord please help her ‘guard her heart’ in this relationship with this particular boy…” What they really want to pray and what they really should pray is: “Lord, help her be sexually pure and stay out of bed in this relationship with this particular boy…” Just pray what you mean.

2. “I’ll pray for you.” Okay, this one is tricky, because I don’t want to judge. I want to believe that, when someone says they will pray for you that will actually pray. I suspect, however, that all too often Christians throw this phrase out as a nice-ism to either make someone feel better or because they don’t know what else 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 on this blog that I actually will.

3.  “Quiet time.” I’m going to be honest–I despise this phrase. It does not exist in the Bible (the concept does on some level, perhaps), yet we throw this around like law. Did you have your “quiet time?” Don’t forget your “quiet time.” It goes on and on. How about setting aside time to be quiet before the Lord, yes, but also meeting with Him in the loud times, the crazy times, the exhausting times–basically throughout your day and throughout your life?

4. “I don’t feel led.” This is another time when you just need to 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.

5. “It was the Lord’s will…” when something fails. Again, this is not always the case, but I have witnessed this phrase become a catch-all to excuse 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.”

6. “Hedge of protection.” I honestly don’t even know where this came from or why people pray it. I have caught myself start to pray it, as well, and I stop in my tracks. It’s just a silly Christian-ism. Again, pray what you mean.

7. “Walk with the Lord.” I don’t dislike this phrase; so much as I think it has become trite. More than that, we say this in front of unbelievers constantly and they must be thinking, “What the what?”

8. “Invite Jesus into your heart.” Again, I don’t despise this Christian-ism, however, I think besides not being entirely scriptural, it fails to communicate the fact that a life devoted unto Christ is the goal–total surrender, nothing less.

9. “Sinner’s prayer” or “Prayer of salvation.” This phrase is not Biblical. God reaches us all differently. Author Anne Lamott, knowing Jesus was calling her, just said out loud one day, “Ah, f*^k it.” That was the moment of her conversion, making Christ Lord. It isn’t pretty, but it’s reality.

10. “Jesus loves you.” It is completely 100% true. He does love you…and me.  A bumper sticker isn’t the way to communicate His love, however. Action is.

I know you have some to add and I can’t wait to hear them! What Christian phrases do you hope to never hear again? What Christian-isms really irk you?

Nicole Cottrell is trained in the fine art of button-pushing. She uses her skills daily on Modern Reject where she writes about the intersection of faith and culture as well as the unpopular stuff no one else likes to talk about. Nicole is a speaker, writer, discipler, and coffee fanatic. She and her husband planted the Foundation, a network of house churches in Arizona. Nicole lives in Scottsdale with her husband and two little munchkins, three of the coolest and funniest people she knows.

Writer: Nicole Cottrell

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