Monday, October 16, 2006

There is a phrase that seems to have become a substitute for "no" in our Christian vocabularies. While it is not always true, it has become a way of putting someone off in a manner that seems "spiritual." They are words too often used to indicate to another that we are going to carefully consider the outcome of the question we are being asked when in reality, we know that the answer in our own minds is..."it ain't gonna happen."

In all honesty, I was struck by this phrase when a good friend of mine used it recently. In my mind he was using it in a concerted attempt to point out to me that he was serious about the issue at hand. And while I believed him in those moments, I stopped and immediately wondered about how often it is bantered about in discussions across America, with no real expectation of positive outcome.

It has become part of the "church" culture to say it. It is an issue of the heart and in truth a reflection of the depth of our relationship with Christ. If we toss it out without thought, if we cut someone off with it, if we use it to indicate that "we'll get back to you later," on an issue we are uninterested in agreeing to, but do not want to be negative about, then we are using it in an inappropriate fashion.

How many christianese phrases can you say that about? With the slide of selfishness that too many believers are on, these types of issues will rise, and do more to defeat our witness, than to point to the One.

Next time someone asks you to do something, and you hear these words come out of your mouth, be sure that you mean them. "I'll pray about it," are words that imply you will seek divine counsel. You are telling the other, that you want the Lord's direction in the matter. It implies that you will get back to them with a response, once the Lord has provided it.

Do we meant it? Are we really seeking Him on the issue? Is it just a convenient way to put them off until we can formulate an answer with the word 'No' in it that is filled with our own justifications, and little of His direction?

Some of us use this phrase appropriately, but more of us use it as an arrow from our arsenal to deflate the attempts of those sent to us to seek our very own obedience.

Realistically, we need to pray about it. Honestly, we seldom cover our offering with the promised petitions.

We need to pray don't we? What would happen if our obedience was birthed from our intense efforts in prayer?



At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 1:09 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I couldn't agree with you more Brent. So many times people use this expression as a way of not dealing with the question we have posed to them. It seems it's their way of saying no indirectly. Perhaps what we ask of them is too difficult in their eyes, perhaps they just don't know the answer, but how frustrating it is when we get the response I'll pray about it, when we know well that they possibly will not. We need to be true to what we say we will do. If we say are going to pray, then we need to do exactly that, if we have no intention of praying then we need to learn to keep our mouth shut.
Just my 2 cents worth.

In His Love

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mom and dad--

have i told you lately that i love you guys?! that i miss you all the time?? The Lord keeps giving me opportunities to share my experience w/BJ all over the place..nothing formal..but spreading the word none the less. Just last night i sat down w/my roommates and we listened to "die for you". I miss him daily. I miss you guys everyday too! less than a month and i'll be there! cant wait to see you!

~praying always~

At 1:04 AM, Blogger Scott Brewer said...

Dear Higgins Family:

I discovered BJ's story when I read the MercyMe cd cover. I read about 6 months of blog posts and was moved and touched. Thanks for putting the story out there.

I'm a pastor in the Seattle area and used some of BJ's story in my message this past week, "Dying Is Living". The link is below if you want to listen to it. At the end I offered an altar call for people to die to self and live to Christ. Over 40 responded to the invitation.

I wanted you to catch another glimpse of how God continues to use BJ's life and that of your entire family.

Your brother,

At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great blog - So many times I hear the words said to me, "I'll keep you in my prayers." Sometimes I wonder if that really is being done. I am also a culprit - it's so easy to say but I do not always do it. Mean what you say and do it! Thank you!


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