There are common clichés and expressions that Christians automatically utter that are really not Biblical. You might have heard of these expressions or even have said it yourself without knowing that it does not reflect the teachings of the Bible. This is a very important subject that we must all know because the tongue is a very powerful tool. Jesus Christ said that we will either be justified or condemned by our words (Matthew 12:37).
I know there are a lot of expressions or clichés that we consider being Christian. But for this time being, let me share with you five of them.
1. Good luck
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, luck means “the things that happen to a person because of chance: the accidental way things happen without being planned”. Out of goodwill, we might wish someone good luck for them to succeed in a task or an endeavor they are about to take.
However, should we, as Christians, say good luck to someone else?
For one, it is definitely not a good idea to give the credit to luck when good things happen to us. Our blessings come from God and not from luck. James 1:17 tells us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
As believers in Christ, we must not rely on luck or chance. Our confidence must be in God. While it is true that God can just let things take its natural course, He has the prerogative to direct our lives according to His will IF we allow Him.
So definitely, instead of saying good luck, why not say, “may God bless your plans”? Praying for God’s blessings is surely MORE powerful than praying for luck.
2. Your loved one is in heaven now
I commonly hear this during funerals and when someone dies. Because of the desire to comfort one another, Christians tend to conclude things that we really don’t know the answer to.
First of all, Jesus Christ, Himself, said that no one has ascended into heaven (John 3:13). Even David, who was known to be a friend of God, has not ascended to heaven (Acts 2:34). So we can conclude that every time we say that our loved one is in heaven already, we are actually telling a lie.
So how can you comfort one another when someone dies? The Apostle Paul has this to say:
I Thessalonians 4:13-18: “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.”
“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
We can comfort one another with the fact that Jesus will one day return here on earth. Those who have lived and died will have the hope that they will be resurrected and given the chance to be part of the Kingdom of God.
3. Oh my God!
This expression is so common that even non-Christians utter it. However, reducing God into a mere expression is something that we, Christians, must not do. God commanded that we must not use His name in vain (Exodus 20:7).
The expression Oh my God shows disrespect, insolence, and rudeness toward our Creator. He is the God and Supreme Ruler of the vast universe and using His name in vain is a blasphemous act.
We must revere, respect, and venerate God with all our hearts and minds. Saying “Oh my God” and all its other forms are unchristian. So keep in mind that God always listens to us. We must honor God in all we do including the things that we say.
4. Just believe Jesus and you’ll be saved
This is the most popular statement most Christians try to say when converting other people. However, this statement is very shallow and superficial. Yes, the process of salvation starts in believing and accepting Jesus Christ in our lives. But to say that that is all that we have to do to be saved is surely inaccurate.
James said that even the demons do not just believe in God, but they tremble (James 2:18)! If belief in God is all it takes to attain salvation, then we have demons in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus said that a Christian life is never easy. As a matter of fact, the Apostle Paul said that “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
Jesus recognizes that anyone who decides to follow Him should take up their cross – a symbol of hardships and struggles in life (Matthew 16:24).
Belief in God and Jesus Christ must be coupled with WORKS. Jesus said:
Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who DOES the will of My Father in heaven.”
5. We should not judge
Christians have become timid and fearful because of the many persecutions that they may suffer for standing up for the truth. Because of the fear of offending others, we rather choose to shrink back in our comfort zone and hide our lights as Christians.
For this reason, the phrase, “We should not judge” has been thrown around. Christians would argue that we must not judge one another even if they are clearly demonstrating an immoral behavior. But is it really wrong to judge?
The misunderstanding comes from Matthew 7:1 where Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged”. The problem is that people tend to stop right there and not reading the context of the verse. If one should read the rest of the verse, we will read:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Jesus Christ gives the reason why we must not judge. The standards we use to judge will also be used to judge us. He further explains that we must first judge ourselves before judging the behavior of other people. Judging other people must be done with the knowledge that we, too, are imperfect human beings. We are all sinners. It is just that we sin in different ways.
So should we really judge? The answer is yes. Jesus Christ said, “Do not judge according to appearance; but judge with righteous judgment”. With the help of scripture we can determine whether a particular behavior is sinful or not. We can conclude that homosexuality, fornication, adultery, murder, stealing, and coveting are all sins. Why? Because the Bible tells us so.
Judging and condemning are different. We can judge but not condemn. We need to love the sinners and hate the sin. We are not in the position to determine whether a person will be saved or not. This is the prerogative of God.
We, Christians, must be mindful of what we say, think, and do. We are called to live a higher standard of morality. We are to aim for perfection just like our Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Therefore, let us examine the words that come from our mouth because the words that we say reflect what’s in our heart (Luke 6:45).
Finally, let us all take heed what the Apostle Paul said when it comes to our words:
Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”