Language is such a powerful form of communication. As a writer I’m very sensitive to language, and always intrigued by people’s responses and reactions especially on social forums or social media channels. Recently, I’ve been fascinated by Christians using such phrases as “God bless you” and “I’ll continue to pray for them”. While both of these terms seem to show empathy, I often see them being used by Christians in a judgmental way.
I realize that there are various types of Christians. I also realize that many of us Christians are religious and want to push our religious beliefs on others instead of focusing on our relationship with God. I constantly see Christians in the midst of a disagreement rudely state their position, add a Bible verse that may or may not properly emphasize their stance, and end with “God bless you”, or if they can’t get the other person to agree there’s the occasional “I’ll pray for them”.
I often wonder, what are you really praying for? Are you really blessing them? Are you praying for the other person to be convicted the way you are about a certain issue? Are you praying for the person to listen to what God wants for him or her, or to just agree with you?
As Christians we are not meant to be religious, in fact most religious Christians are out of touch with God’s teachings because they are focused on their beliefs, traditions and culture. They often live in a bubble, making them unrelatable to others; especially those they could be helping. Religious Christians create an environment of us verses the world. How do I know this? Because I too was once what I consider a “religious Christian”.
I realized that I could barely hold a conversation with other Christians let alone non-Christians who didn’t agree with me. I was exhausted by endless arguments, where I was always trying to get the other person to see that they were wrong. In the end I noticed that I was acting God; judging those that I felt weren’t “Christian enough”. I gravitated towards those that I felt understood me, that agreed with my views, and that were as religious as I was.
As my relationship with God grew stronger I realized that I was actually alienating myself from others, that I was not walking in love by pointing out that others were wrong and I was right. That adding a Bible verse to emphasize my stance didn’t mean I had won that argument let alone showed God’s love; just that I found a verse to shut the other person up.
A lot of Christians spend time with those that believe only in what they believe in. Sometimes questioning the Christians that refuse to spend time only with other Christians. Even when criticized for their inability to connect with others, some Christians are quick to blame it on the devil. Often refusing to question or reflect on their approach or interactions with their fellow Christians, let alone non-Christians.
It is horrifying that we use such Godly phrases to emphasize our disdain for each other’s views or beliefs. It’s also ironic that we focus on those that believe only in what we believe in; instead forgetting that Jesus did not walk the Earth or surround himself with only those that agreed with him, but rather approached each person with genuine and unconditional love. That he was a walking testimony of the phrase “God bless you”.