Speaking Christianese: Breaking down common Christian phrases — part 5

Sep 1, 2020 | Questions/Searching

If you’re a Christian, you might not have noticed that we have a lot of weird Christian phrases. If you’re not a Christian, then you have definitely noticed some of the strange sayings we like to use.

We’re here to help people decipher the mysterious language of Christianese by breaking down common Christian phrases in the fifth part of this new series.

“I gave an offering of love”

It sounds sweet. It can even be sweet. But we want to call this phrase out because it can be misguided. Christians are taught to give. We are taught to share with others and to give to the church so that it may support others through our gifts. While we want to be careful to highlight that giving is not mandatory to be a Christian, it is still an important part of modeling yourself after Christ.

Therefore, when someone does something nice, such as giving another person a ride to work, and calls it an offering of love, they kind of miss the point. Yes, doing a nice deed is great and Christlike, but it is not a substitute for giving gifts like financial assistance, food, or other life-sustaining means of support that people need and we are called to be a part of sharing in. An offering of love is not an offering. An offering given out of love is.

“I’ll pray for you”

Yeah, we might be pushing some buttons with this one, but hear us out. Praying for others is great. You could even say it’s greater than praying for yourself:

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 (MSG)

Praying for others is always good and powerful … when you do it. See, a lot of people say, “I will pray for you” or will send a simple “thoughts and prayers” over social media, but they don’t really do it. This has led to many people losing hope in faith because they see a lot of messages like these and hear empty words but don’t receive any real help or encouragement.

If you say you’ll pray for someone, do it. Do it in a way they can be a part of it too. Pray with someone together. Don’t just say you’ll do it later and then leave them alone. Too far apart to actually pray with someone in person? Call them up. Or even write out a prayer in social media. 

Prayer is powerful, and it can greatly affect someone else when they get to be a part of it. Even if all it does is make them feel better during a difficult situation, it is more powerful than the oft dismissive sounding “I’ll pray for you.”

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