It’s National Cliché Day…how will you celebrate? The idea of this day is to be mindful of how frequently we resort to using clichés in everyday speech, often because we do not know what else to say. Christianity is no different; in fact, many of the top clichés we use aren’t just bad theology, they can actually be harmful. The Gospel Coalition complied this list of the worst five clichés that need to go away; they are…
1. “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”
2. “You’re never more safe than when you’re in God’s will.”
3. “Let go and let God.”
4. “God will not give you more than you can handle.”
5. “God helps those who help themselves.”
Have you ever heard these? Have you ever used these? The problem with Christian clichés is they might give us something to say when we are otherwise at a loss for words, but they distract from God’s greater plan. Sometimes God closes doors and windows to protect us. Sometimes going God’s way puts us at odds with the world — ask all the Christian martyrs, beginning with Jesus Himself. Letting go and letting God can lead us to the cross as opposed to the comfort of a couch. We frequently face more than we can handle, but God provides the way out; i.e., JESUS! And there is nothing we can do aside from receiving God’s forgiveness to help us into eternity…we are lost without God.
So, on this National Cliché Day, be mindful of what you might reflexively be inclined to say. Remember the words of Deuteronomy 4:6, “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”