Ok, I have a confession! It concerns some common phrases that I say. These phrases sound Christian but …… Take: “gotta love them tho” and “bless your heart”. In the south, in the USA, they can mean a whole different thing.
Both of those phrases mean that we really think the person we are speaking about and/or to, might have a screw loose. Maybe they are not too bright? Then just from that, we are being politely sarcastic. We are too Christian to tell what we are really thinking. So, by being politely sarcastic we are trying to portray an image of ‘how Christian’ we are. Do you get where I am coming from and where this post is going?
Our piousness is as close to sinning as we can get. Ok, all you preachers, I know that getting “close” is the same as “doing”. So, what is wrong with the phrases?
Answer: Because we are not saying them with “love” and “charity”?
Examine how you are saying the phrases and why they even came out of your mouth. So, if we examine our intent, was it for love, charity, or just plain sarcasm? Were we thinking we were being Christian for not calling the person or idea stupid? Were we being vain in our self-reflection? Were we really asking for blessings from above? Am I thinking I am smarter, wiser, even more Christian?
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
Two words in the next verses need to also be examined. “Dissimulation” and “condescend”. “Dissimulation” is to pretend or to hide under false appearance. “Condescend” is normally looked at as to patronize or to demean if the ending of “ing” is added to the word. But the Biblical understanding is for one to change to a less dignified state or to waive a privilege of rank. [Do not confuse the word with “condescending”.] Even if you are simply saying, “Bless your heart, you tried”; you really are not blessing them. [Blessing someone is another questionable habit we Christians have.] Would it not have been less demeaning to the person if you said, “I am so glad you tried.”?
“Let love be without dissimulation …”
“Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits”
Charity? Charity is not just “giving,” but extending goodwill or benevolence. If we are being sarcastic then there is no goodwill or compassion intended. We are letting our emotions control our tongue and thoughts.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another ….”
Let me charge you to examine how you speak. Let me charge you to ask for forgiveness. Let me pray for you so you might do better than I. Let me ask that you pray for my willful tongue; because I have a store-house of little ‘quips’ like the above.