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  • Elizabeth R Billingsley

Biblical Cliches Do More Harm Than Good


Hello everyone! Today I am taking on biblical cliches! 

Cliches are unfortunately a part of our world. They were designed as a way to generalize a situation or feeling. However, in the wrong situation or circumstance, they are harmful and hurtful because they minimalize the situation and people's feelings. They are also dismissive in nature. Biblical cliches can be even more harmful because with a biblical cliche you are including God in the equation and He can't be contained in a generalization and He is never dismissive. 

Is there some truth in biblical cliches and cliches in general? Yes, but they are not the whole truth. Truth is not dismissive nor minimal. Truth spoken with love looks at the whole picture, not in generalizations.

Let's look at an example of a biblical cliche:

"God is in control. He will work it out."

Truth: Yes He is all powerful and He is always working on our behalf.

Generalization implied: God will work it, whatever that is, out your way. You have no control over your own life or decisions.

Lie: You have no control over your life or decisions. God always works it out your way.

Do you see how this seemingly innocent biblical cliche could be misconstrued by the hearer and misrepresent God? Yes God is all powerful and He is always working on our behalf. However, that does not mean everything will always work out like we want. We always have control over our decisions and the direction our life takes, He did not create nor does he want robots. 

I have used biblical cliches, unaware of how dismissive I was being, as well as had them said to me. They just don't help. I would encourage everyone to speak from God's Word and uplift people if you want to help them. Overgeneralization and dismissiveness only makes us look uncaring and not interested in others. If you really want to help someone, listen to them, really listen and hear their heart. I would be the first to tell you, I have messed this up too. The Lord is teaching me how to speak to people and how to better relate. He can teach all of us if we listen. 

Listen to people, love them where they are, and above all, speak in love, not in biblical cliches or otherwise. Ask for forgiveness where you need to and keep working on your relationships. 

We are all works in progress.

Until next time,

Elizabeth 



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