Just Shut Up.

Relax. I wasn’t talking to you – I was talking to me. I’m continually amazed how many times I still have to say this to myself. Like, multiple times daily. Sometimes hourly.

Terry… just shut up.

Most of the times I utter these words, something uncomfortable is taking place, and my “gift of gab” is out of control. I’m with someone who is hurting, devastated maybe, and I say something stupid.

Here’s some examples:

“I will pray for you.” 

Terry, just shut up.

Prayer is way too important to use as a get-out-of-the-moment-free card. I will pray for you. Saying that is often simply a glorified Hallmark greeting card.

Better strategy – pray with them right then. Or at least ask them how you can pray for them. 

“The Lord told me you should read this verse.” 

Just shut up.

The Bible is certainly a living word from God. But proof-texting someone’s pain (and trying to legitimize it with “the Lord told me”) is WRONG. Don’t ever use scripture to pass someone off.

“God must have something much better planned for you.”

Please…. Just shut up!

God doesn’t really owe us anything. Frankly, He may have something worse for us somewhere down the line – and that has to be ok. too. Instead of shifting someone’s attention to an unknown future, you and I need to be a part of God working in their present situation.

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

Just shut up.

This is simply not true. Many experience way more than they can handle ALONE. Loosely drawn from 1 Corinthians 10:13, not only is this verse specifically about temptation but it has a corporate context. Sometimes people need help. If you find yourself saying this to someone, chances are they need help from you.

“You are not alone because God is always with you.”

Ok, I do have to admit that this is true. However, if someone is experiencing catastrophic loneliness, they need you to help lessen it and learn to know God’s sustaining presence. Too much of our theology leaves out the here and now. Be present in the moment with them.

Sacred truths were never meant to cover up or hide what someone is experiencing right now. That approach makes a person’s present reality feel pointless and meaningless.

That’s certainly not what you or I want.

Just being there means more than we know. 

Just shut up.




3 thoughts on “Just Shut Up.

  1. Thank you Terry. You never know what to say, but I know now what not to say. Great advise!

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