Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stop the platitudes!

    Her response to my concerns for my family solicited a perturbed reaction inside. She is supposedly my friend.  She could have not said anything or "I'm sorry," but instead she slapped my feelings with a neat package of platitudes..."God is faithful, God is with you, try not to worry."

When did what we struggle with equate with struggling with God or our faith?

My struggles right now are not with God or what he can do or whether he is faithful. 
I am simply demonstrating a normal human response of empathy. 
Yes, I am a bit worried. Yes, I don't want those I care about to hear the dreaded, "There's nothing we can do for you." That will be hard on them and hard for me because I care about how this is going to affect them. 
We need to stop the platitudes!! 
 We need to be careful not to convey the message that struggling is not okay or a sign that someone needs to be spiritually rescued.
 In my experience, Christians are the worst at throwing religious statements in the name of God, but these are often inappropriate responses to someones pain, loss, or trial. These platitudes minimize others' concerns or hurt, make assumptions about the state of one's thoughts and feelings and communicate (whether intentional or not) insensitivity. Yes, the statement, God is faithful is very true, but may have nothing to do with what a person is working through.

If we feel uncomfortable supporting someone's battle, then we need to be honest and tell them. We may even need to stay away from them. We need to be careful not to assume anything or say things that will only make a difficult matter worse!

Whatever we choose, we need to practice saying little with sensitivity.

P.S.  Yes, I have forgiven my friend. Yes, I am extending grace. Right now, I am deciding with God's wisdom whether I should tell her how what she did hurt me.

Linking up today with a true sisterhood: http://www.solideogloriasisterhood.com/ 


  1. Hi, I used to follow your blog under a different name and have now happened across it again. I resonate with what you are talking about from both sides of what happened.

    Sometimes it's easy and almost robotic to make "Christianese" statements. When I struggle I don't like hearing those things either. I tend to not go back to that person(s) who doesn't seem to be able to get past the surface.

    Being a Christian is hard work and there are deep struggles in life. Yes, we should encourage each other and pray with and for each other. But what is most important is the relationship.

    Anyways, I'm rambling. Just wanted to say I get what you are talking about! :) I hope to see more posts from you!

  2. I am with you! It's the 'typical Godly thing to say' when you don't know what else to say. Like you said, saying NOTHING would be better with maybe a smile and a hug. I always tell people I won't tell them 'I'm praying for you' unless I REALLY mean to do it. These flippant 'Christian sayings' become so small when there is POWER in His name and His Word when used as an excuse just to say something.

    Good word!

  3. Dionne, it is SO good to see you back at SDG! I saw your picture and my eyes brightened with joy!

    I hear you - we do need to be careful with our words, friend. Please let me know if I can be praying for you in any way.


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