Let go and let God. God works in mysterious ways. Jesus died for you. Talk to Him, He loves you. God is always with you. He is the great healer/comforter. Satan lies… I’ll pray for you.
What if I don’t want you to pray for me?
What if you knew that you come off as the epitome of insensitivity when you spew these platitudes to someone who is struggling?
I read a blogpost a couple days ago in which a Christian blogger expressed struggling with her faith – a falling out of faith situation – and just about every comment (over 50 last I looked) had some variation of these platitudes, intermingled with Bible verses and typed out prayers to their Father.
No. No… As someone who went through a similar time, I read every single one of these as missing the point. These people weren’t seeing HER. Yes, yes they called her beautiful child of God blah blah blah… but her feelings were dismissed in favor of mini sermons and cliches that took no real thought. To me it appeared that losing faith was not supposed to be an option for her. These people were ramming the Christianity down her throat and not acknowledging her fears and emotions for the most part.
I’ll pray for you. I’m praying for you. Let’s all communally pray for her. All three variations were used.
How about when someone is teetering on the edge of losing their faith you say “Your feelings are valid – if you want to talk, I’ll listen.” or “I’ve been there – I know how you feel.” Do something. Don’t pray for me… When one has lost faith that means in prayer too – so your prayers likely mean nothing. You say it’s said with good intentions. I say “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” How’s that for a platitude?
When I left the faith I was lucky to have a handful of really good christian friends that understood and kept the platitudes at bay – they expressed their sadness at my choice, but also saw ME. They cared for ME and they supported ME. Even in prior years when I struggled with anything faith related these platitudes made me feel more guilty than anything. It caused me to swallow my concerns and step back from my Christian friends who clearly demonstrated that they didn’t care really about me instead of me living up to Christian ideals. It caused me to hide my feelings and not trust them anymore.
I’ve been struggling lately with such things personally again. These insincere statements are used by Christians all over for any little exchange on a daily basis.
Divorce? I’ll pray for you. Lost your house? I’ll pray for you. A relation die? I’ll pray for you… and your family.
I suppose I have to spell it out: it is especially not helpful if the person you are saying it to doesn’t even share your beliefs. Then again, even when I identified as Christian it almost always seemed as though they were looking past me or over me as a person.
I’ve let some roll off my shoulders recently – especially random seemingly one time incidents. Though I also recently had to tell a relative “Thank you, but I’m not a Christian.” Too many random extended family wanting to reconnect lately and then jumping whole hog into evangelical …everything. Making assumptions… and ugh. Just so many irritating things that would be a complete side note… so. Won’t go there now.
To be fair though, while Christians are the most common offenders of this in my life, plenty of non religious people utilize non religious cliches or platitudes as well to gloss over feelings or people as well.
Maybe they just don’t know what to say. But in my opinion, best not say anything at all. Best to just offer your friendship. Offer to sit with me. Offer to listen to me. Then I would think you actually care – even if you otherwise don’t know what to say.