::let me start by saying that this post has some language-ish, that google image searching “trite sayings” is a GOLD MINE (trite saying intended) and that this person says kind of what I’m saying and is also funny, but has more language. and i stole some of her images.::
Launching into story…now:
Waiting for my friend to respond via text on whether or not we could skype was getting rdiculous, and didn’t involve enough neurotic forms of communication, so I emailed my apology.
“You weren’t being trite, I was being an a-hole.”
“i was being an a-hole.” Oh, such true words. Much oftener than I mention them. I want to believe that I am kind. That I am patient and graceful and that my insights are thoughtful, thought-provoking, and useful. I want to believe that I believe all of that yet remain beatifully, stoically humble. The problem with all of that is it is FALSE AS PAM ANDERSONS BREASTICLES*.
The other day I was told “you aren’t necessary.” ::EXPLOSION OF THE PRIDEBOMB:: And without getting into the background, I have to say that for the point this girl (not someone im close to, but someone who can speak in to my life)was making, she was right. I am not necessary. I am used by God’s grace, but God doesn’t need me. (Now, as part of the body of Christ, the church, the body needs me to be properly functioning in order for the whole body to properly function, but that’s not what we were talking about.)
So anyway, in reference to being not necessary, and other things from the above interaction, I was hurting and a friend, knowing basically that I’d been told something true but that I didn’t particularly like, wrote me a sweet, encouraging message. And then signed it with something to the effect of “Keep your head up and keep trucking along, God will use this too!”
INSERT CAT SCRATCH NOISES HERE. CLAWS OUT!! “please don’t pastor me like that. you’re better than trite wrap-ups….” Wow, did I say that? Way to go, Valle, nice job on the being “slow to speak and quick to listen.” (i have that backward but whatevsies)
Insert record-scratching noise in my brain, here.
Insert “wait-a-minute-i-was-just-learning-about-this” here.
For a while in one of my classes, I’ve heard people mention that the trite (even if you believe them) maxims such as “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.” or “God has a plan for this.” or yes, even, “It’ll all work out in the end.” Are, if ill-timed, NOT helpful, but in fact hurtful. Instead of encouraging (which, if we assume the best of people, is what is meant) these sayings are hindering. They, at the wrong time, can cut people off, seem to say “I hear that you’re hurting. But it will get better, so let’s not have any more of this talking about it.”
I have to admit, i didn’t get it. An optimist at heart, I thought my classmates needed to lighten up a little, expect the best of people, understand that they meant well and in a little while, these sayings will bring comfort.
And a VERY WISE friend of mine once mentioned that in the dire straights of life, the absolute pits, that’s when she wants to hear the promises of God to cling to and remember. So I was like, “people need to hear this stuff, y’all. They’ll thank you later.”
But, people do not always need to hear this stuff at every moment. There is a time to say “God has a plan for this.” But in the middle of a break down or some innocent wanderings about the greater implications of a lesser idea may not be that time. And if you say it at the wrong time, you may not be thanked for it later….you might be hated for it always. Which, FTR, is not a great statement to be made of a helping professional.
So while I’m sorry that I was a cat-scratch-fever-a-hole to my friend who meant only to relate and comfort, I’m glad I learned this distinction – the distinction between words that are true and speak truth, and words that are true and cut off healing. The distinction is, often, just timing.
Now, determining that timing, that I’ve yet to learn.
*not that i don’t l.o.v.e. me some animal-caring-for, admits-her-faults-and-can-laugh-about-it Pam Anderson.