Dear Readers, After a year with Beliefnet, I’ve decided to move to my own domain for my blogging. It’s been a fine year — some things worked, other things didn’t. But in the end, I’ll be a better blogger on my own. My thanks to the Bnet editorial staff; they’ve been very supportive. Please change […]
I received loads of great comments about what Christian euphemisms we should drag, kicking and screaming, into the light of day in an attempt to euthanize them. I won’t be able to tackle them all, but I’ll highlight some of my favorites this week.
Chris Enstad nominated this beauty:
“The Lord laid it on my heart…”
Which is a euphemism for: This is something I want to do.
I grew up in a home in which, while faithful and Christian, we didn’t talk a ton about faith. In fact, most Christian euphemisms were new to me when I went to college and got involved in an evangelical ministry. It seems to me that liberal Protestants have far fewer insider euphemisms — that’s probably because we’re more “worldly” and “secular” (read, not residing in a Christian ghetto).
So I don’t remember my parents ever blaming “the Lord” for one of their decisions, good or bad. It would have probably seemed highly anti-intellectual to them to do so.
Thus, it surprised me a bit when I started hearing people talk about their decisions, big and small, were directly influenced by the God of the Universe. And by that I don’t mean that they brought biblical reasoning to bear on their decisions, but that God deigned to whisper in their ear about what they should do.
Of course, I don’t mean to say that I believe in a non-interventionist God. I actually turn to God for aid in many decisions, big and small. But I can’t say that I ever felt God actually stir my brain juices, which is what it always seemed like when someone used this phrase, “The Lord laid it on my heart,” or something like it.
What’s really most odious about this phrase is when it’s used to justify something that’s otherwise unjustifiable.
So, let’s hear it: When have you heard (or used) this euphemism?