My husband, who is also a preacher, and I have been lamenting about the vocabulary choices that many Christians make. The choice of words is not based on Scripture. Rather, the words and phrases are based on what Mama or Grandma or Auntie used to say. Where Mama or Grandma or Auntie got the phrase from originally remains a mystery that will probably never be solved. The root cause of the poor communication is the failure to actually study the Bible. Our speech is one of the main reasons believers cannot become spiritually mature. We stunt our growth in God by the words we say. Here is a small sampling of the deaths that we inflict upon ourselves and each other regularly.
“Cleanliness is next to godliness.” “God don’t like ugly.” These two statements are not rooted in scripture. They are simply words to say to make the speaker appear wise to the listener(s).
“I am just a sinner saved by grace.” Yes, the grace of God allows a sinner to become saved. That is a different statement. Once you become saved, i.e., you claim Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are NO LONGER a sinner. The Bible states that those who are in Christ are new creations. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV). Once you become a member of the Kingdom of God, you are joint heirs with Christ. See Romans 8:14-17.
“You can’t be perfect.” People who make this statement do not understand that perfection means spiritual maturity. What constitutes spiritual maturity is a discussion for another day. The people who make this statement are relying on Webster and/or Oxford for understanding. Those of us with a concordance or a Bible app will see that a search for “perfect” is quite revealing. I use the King James Version: Noah (Genesis 6:9); Abram (Genesis 17:1); the twelve tribes of Irael (Deuteronomy 18:13); Job (Job 1:1, 8). When believers tell other believers “We can’t be perfect, but we’re striving to be like God,” not only are they sending mixed messages, but they are also making a statement that doesn’t make any sense. God is perfect. You’re striving to be like God, but you can’t be perfect. My question is “Why bother to strive to achieve something that people say you can never achieve?” That doesn’t make any sense and is a waste of time and energy. Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 (KJV).
Let us use the power of our tongues to speak life. Be blessed. Stay encouraged.