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When Clichés Are Not Enough August 18, 2011

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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We eventually reach a point in our Christian life when clichés are not enough. I think I have heard them all. I have even had other preacher-types say them to me after I have revealed some difficulty I was facing at the time. Clichés are always spoken with such incompetence. It’s as if the other person doesn’t know what to say, but feels the need to say something. A counselor friend of mine would say, ‘they were not trying to reassure you, they were trying to reassure themselves.’
For the past couple of weeks, I have felt like I have been treading water. It started out simply enough; there was a ‘to do’ list that didn’t get completed one day. Those things that did not get completed each day were added to the next day’s list and it snowballed from there.
Like many other families, we were getting our children ready for school. School supplies had to be purchased. Shot records had to be updated. The always popular ‘clothes shopping’ had to be accomplished. It seemed to be non-stop.
Different from other families and any other school years for us though, this year posed new challenges never before faced. For the first time we would be sending our children to public school. We have always homeschooled. Having never had to work through the system as a parent before, (my wife and I were both teachers at different points) there is a lot to it. It is very frustrating. So, for the last several weeks, I have felt like I was treading water and just keeping my head above the surface. At the last moment, just when I didn’t think I could hold on any more, I heard the rescue boat coming. All I had to do was hang on. But, it was becoming more and more difficult.
What do you say to someone who feels like that? I can tell you from experience that clichés are not enough. In most instances in fact, they are not received well. They come across as condescending and judgmental. They seem to smack of a superiority the advisor has that they are somehow “above all that” and “better than you.”
So, be careful with the clichés. Instead, offer a listening ear, a reassuring tone and a helping hand. God did not call us to be the voice of judgment, but the hands and feet of Christ. Help and reassurance require work and aid; not clichés.
If you have questions or comments about something you read here today or on another post, feel free to contact me by email : t_watsup@yahoo.com
You can also check out my “Church Where You Are .org” page on Facebook. “Like” it and stay up to date when I post. “Share” the page with your friends.
Thanks for reading.



1. nobody - August 18, 2011

I like your post, it is certainly thought-provoking. The only thing that bugs me is the last paragraph, it makes you seem desperate for more readers.

theronwatson - August 19, 2011

Desperate…? Not really. I just want to invite more people to read along. Thanks.

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