I’m all about a tried and true phrase–that is, a phrase that is accurate and also relevant to any given situation. I LOVE words, phrases, puns, idioms, the whole SHEBANG (see what I did there?!?!?!)! However, what I don’t love is phrases that are misleading and people using those phrases in order to justify immoral behavior or a questionable ideology. Maybe the phrases are not so much the problem as the mentality that is insidiously lurking beneath these commonly misused sentiments. I have noticed that regardless of spiritual beliefs and the WHY behind it, most people DO agree that “the tongue has the power of life or death” (Proverbs 18:21). My beef with the following phrases is that perhaps they make sense to the un/non-believer and may even seem life-giving, if you will, but as a Christian, I completely disagree. The reason I disagree is because these phrases are steeped in falsehood not in TRUTH, which ultimately makes them the OPPOSITE of life-giving. Without further ado, the three phrases I have chosen to confront and expose are:
3 Harmful & Misleading Phrases:
1. I/You deserve it.
I’m pointedly referencing this phrase in regards to saying you or someone you know deserves something out of merit. I disagree with this attitude because, let’s be honest, what you and I really deserve is eternal separation from God due to our sin nature. Instead, we have the choice of making Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and spending eternity in Heaven with Him, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. The reason we have this choice is because of God’s mercy and grace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…” (Ephesians 2:8). I would venture to say that many people who ascribe to this idea of entitlement are in danger of entrapment by pride. James 4:6 says “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”‘ Beware! A proud heart is a hard heart.
2. Don’t judge me/Only God can judge me.
These 2 similarly opinioned phrases have become increasingly mainstream over the past several years. There is a common elemental emotion attached to these phrases that is reminiscent of a rebellious teenager. In my experience, many times either of these phrases is uttered, it is done so in a manner that suggests a desire to justify unsavory behavior. For sure, there are verses in the Bible that warn the believer against judging someone else’s sin as greater than your own. But what I want to communicate to YOU is that there are lots of times when believers are called to speak the TRUTH in love. When speaking the truth OUT OF LOVE for someone, the above phrases need not apply. Additionally, be forewarned: “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
“…the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.” (Romans 2:16)
3. YOLO (You Only Live Once).
Where do I begin?!?!? This one is a doozy! I will concede that you only live once-TEMPORARILY-on the EARTH that is! We have an ETERNITY of Heaven or Hell ahead of us! Our decisions on Earth directly affect where we will reside after the end times. Romans 10:13 says that “he who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” What does it mean to be saved? 1 John 5: 11-12 explains it this way: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” So, next time you hear someone express the sentiment attached to YOLO in order to justify an action linked to instant gratification or justification of wrongdoing, remember, just say “NO” to YOLO!
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)