Clichés of Truth
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Psalm 13:6 I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.
How often do you use a cliché? Do you like them, or seek to avoid them? Maybe an even more important question is, have you turned meaningful statements into clichés by overusing them?
We tend to use clichés without even knowing it. For example, phrases such as “to this day” or “next thing I knew” are clichés, and we often say these phrases without noticing we are doing so. Or what about these?
- Cat got your tongue?
- Fall head over heels
- Read between the lines
- Laughter is the best medicine
- Waking up on the wrong side of the bed
- That and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee
- Sent a shiver down my spine
- Gut wrenching pain
- Heart-stopping fear
- I love you more than life itself
- And they all lived happily ever after
- We’re not laughing at you, we’re laughing with you
- The quiet before the storm
According to Wikipedia, a cliché is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, even to the point of being trite or irritating, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel.
That makes me wonder – how many biblical truths have we turned into meaningless clichés through overuse or misapplication? The cliché that came to my mind today was stimulated by reading Psalm 13. Follow along with me on a journey through this scenic Psalm.
As King David begins to write, he is crying out to God about all of the evil that is being done to him by his enemies. He is beginning to feel like God has forgotten him and hidden His face from him. He asks God to consider his plight and answer his prayer, for he is afraid that he is very close to giving up and just ending his life. He certainly feels like his enemy is going to ultimately prevail and rejoice in his triumph.
But then, spiritual truth takes over and David speaks these words to his Lord:
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
As soon as I read those words, my first thought was “Count your blessings.” Then it hit me. Have I turned that truth into a cliché through overuse and misapplication? How many times have I focused on the trials and pain of life’s circumstances and then just tritely said, “Oh but I am so blessed?” Can I really say with David that I have trusted in God’s steadfast love? Is my heart rejoicing in God’s salvation? Am I singing to the Lord because I understand how bountifully He has dealt with me?
So today, rather than just saying “Count your blessings” as a cliché, I’m going to actually do it. I’m going to start with an acknowledgment that I am blessed to have been sought after and saved by Jesus Christ, and that nothing can ever separate me from His steadfast love. Today I’m going to give meaning back to the cliché because I know it is spiritual truth.