I don’t like it when writers, with all their talent and knowledge of language, sometimes resort to blasphemy to create an effect. OMG and, even worse, OMFG, and ‘Jesus Christ’ with all its variants, have become such commonly used expressions that they should be classed as bone fide clichés – and be ‘avoided like the plague’. Clichés in writing are boring – according to experts – but at least we don’t have to keep on reading. I don’t agree with the experts that it’s more acceptable in speech because we don’t have time to search for alternatives – it’s still boring (and offensive) – even more so because it’s forced upon us when blasted out in public places.
People who use these expressions don’t realise what effect it can have on a believer. For some people, using the words ‘Jesus Christ’ is like using ‘Gordon Bennet!’ or ‘Chuffin’ Nora!’ and they don’t think twice about it. I don’t suppose either of these two people would be pleased that their name was being used in this way so imagine how God must feel whenever he sees his or his son’s name spat out without a second thought. And what do we do when we see or hear it? Sit there like ‘Piffy on a rock bun’ and put up with it.
I wonder how the instigator might feel if someone were to use the name of their father or brother in this way? Maybe next time someone will use this tactic and detect an inward cringe from them at the name of their own kin being taken in vain (that same inward cringe – whenever a blasphemy is uttered – that is experienced by those who think of God as father and Jesus as brother). Would their epiphany through empathy make any difference to future considerations in their choice of vocabulary?
I can understand why people resort to clichés – because they are a comfort when looking for hope. I mean, you can always rely on a cliché – you know where you stand – no messing about with fancy comparisons or metaphors – just straight out with it – and you have all the imagery you need. But, in my view, the only cliché worth clinging to for hope in daily living is ‘Jesus Christ’ – because our hope is found in his love.
Where will you find your hope today? I wonder if you’ll find it by whispering that cliché slowly – ‘Jesus Christ’ – whilst imagining Jesus himself standing next to you? How would it make you feel using the cliché in that way? You know that the shortest sentence in the New Testament is ‘Jesus wept’, and how he must weep still when we resort to blasphemy instead of asking for our hope in this way.
So now, what will you do with the remainder of this day, with the gift that is the rest of your life? Will you search for an alternative cliché or will you open your heart to the hope and love that is available from the clichéd Jesus Christ?
PS: I was an atheist before becoming an agnostic before becoming a believer. Jesus really does save but many of us don’t know we need saving.