20 Christianese Phrases We Really Need to Stop Saying

As determined by Christianese aficionado Jon Acuff

I don’t want a hedge of protection around me.

If you’re praying for me, feel free to not install one of those on the landscape of my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I think hedges are adorable, but they’re highly ineffective. I mean, how hard is it to step over a hedge?

Have you ever seen a bush and thought, “If there’s only one thing standing between me and the devil, I hope it’s a bush of that girth.”

Of course not. Nobody is afraid of bushes.

And yet, every day, thousands of Christians ask for a hedge of protection with little or no regard to the implication that you’re leaving your life in the hands of shrubbery. I say it’s time to retire that phrase. In fact, it’s time to say farewell to a number of well-known Christianese words and phrases.

“I covet your prayers”

When did this become OK? Did we get a vote? I would like a recount, please. This one is kind of gross. Every time I hear someone say that, I feel like they are saying “I lust after your prayers.” Throughout the Bible we’re told not to covet and yet, here we are “redeeming” this phrase. Quit it. You might as well say, “I idolize your prayers.”

“Just sayin’”

Christians use this phrase as a “Get out of jerk free” card. We write the most vile, bitter statement on Facebook and then punctuate it with “just sayin’,” as if that makes the rest of it invisible. It didn’t, we still saw what you wrote. You know who would have loved this phrase in the Bible? The Pharisees. Can’t you see them saying to Jesus, “Whoa, Jesus, you healed a guy. That’s great. Healing is awesome. It is the Sabbath though. Just sayin’.” If we only retire one phrase on this list, I hope it is this one.

“Blessed with the gift of singleness”

Don’t have a husband or wife? Not in a serious relationship with a Proverbs 31 woman? Not learning and living the love languages? Maybe you were given a special gift to remain alone forever. Maybe that one was dropped off on the doorstep of your heart this year. The next time someone says you got the gift of singleness, give them the gift of a leg sweep. Karate Kid style.

“Transparent” or “Authentic”

Oh, you’re just honest? Yikes. I’ll pray for you. Probably even lift you up in some fashion. I’m not only honest; I’m transparent, like an empty Ziploc bag. I’m authentic, like hipster jeans handmade in the U.S. of A. Honest is old news.

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