That’s Great! What Does It Mean?
I’ve realized lately there are many things we say as Christians that are almost cliché. We talk about the Gospel. We talk about preaching the Gospel to ourselves. We talk about guarding our hearts. We talk about finding our identity in Christ.
We hardly skip a beat in conversations with others, using these phrases as words of encouragement or exhortation. And, when we find ourselves struggling, we use them on ourselves as a kind of positive self-talk, doing our best to apply them.
Then there are those oft-repeated phrases that have been attributed to the Bible that aren’t from the Bible at all. Phrases like, “God won’t do for you what you can do for yourself” or “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” It’s no wonder it is all a jumbled up mess.
I have to be the first to confess that I am guilty of this. I have said these things many times – letting them roll right off my tongue, confident in the Biblical encouragement I was providing to another. And yet, as many times as I have said them, I can’t help but wonder now if they have just become overused phrases void of any depth or meaning. I wonder if these words have lost their power because we don’t really understand them at all; because we can’t put hooks around them? I wonder how many of us actually know and understand what these things mean, the power they hold for us, that they are more than just Christian platitudes?
Over the last year and a half, it became very clear to me that many things I thought I understood were actually about as clear as mud. Many things we talk about, as Christians, never made it past a surface, churchy understanding. It was only after I began to learn what these things mean, the depth of treasure to be mined from them, that I can look back and realize I had no clue before.
- What is the Gospel?
- What does it mean to preach the Gospel to yourself?
- What does it mean to find your identity in Christ?
- What does it mean that we are created in the image of God?
- What does it mean when we say marriage is a picture of Christ and the church?
Whole books could be, and have been, written about these things – some I have read and some I haven’t. But, in the coming weeks, I will attempt to write what I have been learning about these things in a blog post. Obviously, these posts will not be exhaustive because there is only so much you can do in a blog post, but I will include other resources I have found helpful for further reading on each topic. I am also not writing as an expert, but as a fellow sojourner – one who is still learning. What God has been faithful to teach me thus far has been transformational and it is my deep desire to share it with others in hopes of providing the same joy, hope, and encouragement I have been given.
What other Christian phrases do you hear used a lot? Have you ever sat back and thought, “That’s great but what does that really mean? How am I supposed to apply that to my life? What in the world am I supposed to do with that?”