Top 10 Christian Cliches

Editor’s note: We all have a tendency to overuse certain Christian words or sayings until they become cliche. In this no-frills article, Nicole Cottrell explores many of these potential phrases. We invite you to share additional catch-phrases—and your thoughts on the ones listed—in the comment section below.

Some of you may remember the phrases I never want to hear again, like “git ‘er done” and “I’m just sayin’.” This time, I’m picking on Christians (since I am one and all).

I’m just gonna say it—Christians say some crazy things.

We think we are being spiritual, godly, helpful, wise, encouraging, but really we are sticking our big stinky feet in our big open mouths. There are quite a few phrases within the church that irk me. I’m guessing you feel the same.

Here are the Top 10 Christian phrases I never want to hear again—starting with …

1. “Guard your heart.”

Yes, this phrase is scriptural and comes from Proverbs 4:23. I have usually heard this snippet of Scripture used in reference to a dating relationship.

One girl would pray for another something like this: “Lord, please help her ‘guard her heart’ in this relationship with this particular boy … .” What they really want to pray and what they really should pray is: “Lord, help her be sexually pure and stay out of bed in this relationship with this particular boy … .” Just pray what you mean.

2. “I’ll pray for you.”

OK, this one is tricky, because I don’t want to judge. I want to believe that when someone says they will pray for you, they will actually pray.

I suspect, however, that all too often, Christians throw this phrase out as a nice-ism to either make someone feel better or because they don’t know what else to say.

Side note: I take this phrase very seriously, and I want you to know that when I say that I will pray for you, I actually will.

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nicolecottrell@churchleaders.com'
Nicole Cottrell is trained in the fine art of button-pushing. She uses her skills daily on Modern Reject where she writes about the intersection of faith and culture as well as the unpopular stuff no one else likes to talk about. Nicole is a speaker, writer, discipler, and coffee fanatic. She and her husband planted the Foundation, a network of house churches in Arizona. Nicole lives in Scottsdale with her husband and two little munchkins, three of the coolest and funniest people she knows.