it is my firm conviction that if you believe something, you will be able to express said belief without resorting to clichés.
so get rid of them, now.
the frequency with which we default to clichés is something i first noticed in the christian community. have y’all ever noticed it? the frequency with which we resort to platitudes, as if they are the giver of comfort? or in testimonies, as if everyone is supposed to write their stories from a well-worn litany of phrases we could all recite with them. “i grew up in a christian home and was saved at age ___” or “i wandered away from God” or other stock phrases you may know that come to mind.
it’s not that these phrases aren’t true – they are, that’s why they’re clichés – but they’re clichés because we’ve heard them time and time again. and nobody should be able to recite your testimony with you simply because you’re using the same, overworn phrase stock.
i am not going to tell you how to write your story. it is your story. only you can write it. but i will tell you that you ought not to draw from clichés, for when they were regarded as original phrases, they were part of someone else’s story. and theirs is not yours, so why would would you use theirs to tell yours? if you have been inspired by someone’s story, by their testimony, credit them. but don’t say something we’ve heard before.
after all, we’ve heard it before. and you were created by a God who intends you to be a unique manifestation of His love, of His grace.
is it easy to write your story? no. we’ve said that; we know it. but He is the God of all-strength. and if you ask, you will receive the strength and the inspiration to write your stories.
but are they yours? for we could say the Bible is a collection of stories of the men who wrote them, but are they really? or is it the inspired, God-breathed story of Himself, of who He is, of who we are in relation to Him.
would we really cheapen His story by simply using the first phrase that comes to mind? one that is not original? and why? because we are too lazy to channel the creativity, or because we don’t have any to channel?
if we don’t have any to channel, it’s because we haven’t asked in His name. and do you really think He would deny us the privilege of writing His story, for His glory?
we will be discussing writing as worship a little more this week. and it is my firm hope that you and i learn more about writing as a source of glory to the Father, that we learn evermore how to step away from the cliché, from the monotony, and write something that, regardless of how many see it, is an amazing testimony of love and grace and goodness.
and i think that comes from writing our stories, in the way only we can, in words and phrases of our own originality and creativity.