“Mary took . . . an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. . . But Judas Iscariot objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?’ He said this because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what as put into it.” – John 12:3-6
Judas, in his desire to line his pockets with the disciple’s money, says the religiously acceptable thing when he talks about giving the money to the poor. However, in order to hide his true motives, Judas mouths a frequently used yet thoughtless statement that sounds good to the listening ear but betrays the truth.
To the casual observer, Judas’ statement appears to be closest to the mission of Jesus, but in reality, his motive is furthest from the heart of Christ. That, to me, is the definition of a Christian cliché.
I’m confessing to you that I’m bothered by how many “religious” statements appear full of compassion and dedication, but are actually self-serving and furthest from the loving kindness of God. After sharing my crankiness over Christian clichés with some Facebook friends, I’ve compiled a short list of our least favorite Christian sayings. Feel free to add your own, but I warn you; just thinking about some of these can put you in a bad mood.
- “Bless her heart.” This is the quick follow-up after sharing some bit of gossip about “her.”
- “I’ll pray for you.” It sounds so religious and spiritual, but we can all count the number of times we’ve said that and failed to follow up on it. When someone asks my wife to pray for them, she stops what she’s doing, looks them in the eye, and prays for their need. I like that, because the person prayed for knows they’ve been prayed for, knows what has been said about them, and knows they’ve been in the presence of someone who means what they say.
- “He needs Jesus.” This is code for, “That guy’s a real jerk.” Continue Reading