Every arena of life has its own vocabulary, whether we are talking to teammates in a sport’s league or to coworkers in our profession. Christianity is no different. Some of our specialized Christian vocabulary can be helpful, providing us with a kind of verbal shorthand for more efficient communication. But it is time we realize that much of our “Christianese” is actually counterproductive. Making new disciples and teaching them all that Christ commanded is at the center of our calling as Christians (Mt.28:18-20), and these goals are rarely aided by our chronic reliance on insider words and phrases.
Remember, there are many in our sphere of everyday life who need to hear the message of salvation clearly articulated and explained in terms they can readily grasp. And the new Christians with whom we interact shouldn’t need a decoder to understand what we mean when we talk about living for Christ and growing in faith. Lastly, we may find that our frequent use of clichés has actually created a fog in our own minds. In fact, we may even be insulating ourselves against the convicting edge of God’s powerful truths by trying to package them in religious platitudes.
So let’s make it our practice to state the truth plainly, always working to mean everything we say, and saying precisely what we mean.