• Kara Abernathy

Sunday September Series: Common Sayings Debunked

Ever get sick of hearing bad advice?

The world is full of noise. We live in an oversaturated culture. There are millions of resources at the touch of our fingertips, and sometimes it can feel a bit chaotic.

Not only that, but sometimes we receive advice from well-meaning people, and it is frankly wrong. This advice encourages us to muster up enough strength in our own selves and keep going on our own accord instead of trusting in the Lord.

Just think of the craze “Keep Calm and Carry On” circa 2000. FYI, did you know that saying was from British war propaganda in 1939? Crazy!

Anyway, just like “Keep Calm and Carry On” went viral and had a second wave of popularity, so does history recycle famous quotes to encourage people in the present. Even advice in the Christian bubble gets circulated and overused or used incorrectly.

Social media heightens this phenomenon by allowing users to share sayings at the click of a button.

So, each Sunday in September, I will take a common saying or piece of advice, and I will measure it up to Scripture.

Curious what’s ahead?

Sunday 8th: Follow Your Heart

Sunday 15th: Speak Your Truth

Sunday 22nd: You Do You

Sunday 29th: God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle

For now, I’ll start the oh so famous “Sorry Not Sorry.”

Demi Lovato, you definitely helped boost this motto back in ’17, and people still proudly say (or shout) this mantra today.

Yes, the song is catchy, but I think the reason why “sorry not sorry” is so memorable is that the saying resonates with our desire to be correct. When we are angry, we eagerly look for reasons why our position/behavior/thinking is superior to the position/behavior/thinking of the person who hurt us.

Articulating an authentic apology is tough in a culture that tells us to stand up and promote our best selves. We witness others get ahead by deflecting blame, pointing fingers, and refusing to admit fault. Forgiveness isn’t highly esteemed or rewarded.

However, Scripture holds the practice of forgiveness in high regard. In fact, Jesus models forgiveness an uncountable number of times. He even instructs us to forgive without measure.

“Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Matt. 18:21-22).

This “seventy-seven” times is supposed to stand for infinity. We are called to forgive one another, and we are called to ask for forgiveness when we are at fault.

Jesus actually warns us of both the benefit and the problem we will face in regards to our attitude toward forgiveness:

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:14).

This is a serious promise made from the mouth of Jesus! The amount we forgive others is the amount we should expect God to forgive us!

Christ continually showed us that we should have a forgiving attitude. He taught us we are to lay down our lives and serve one another. He approached people with grace and humility. He was perfect in every single way – with every reason to be arrogant – and He was not.

My natural inclination is to justify my own actions, or even worse, seek revenge when hurt or humiliated.

However, I can’t cling to “sorry not sorry” and feel a sense of peace about entitlement. It always leaves me a bit anxious, a bit guilty, and a bit tense. Even my emotions remind me that trying to protect myself at the expense of others ends up ruining relationships.

Apologizing for my faults is a skill I’m working on, especially with the people I’m closest to because my tendency is to measure my wrongdoing with a past record of theirs. This just isn’t biblical.

Remember the famous passage on love? Love keeps no record of wrongs.

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corin. 13:4-6).

I have to lay down my pride, lay down my “scoresheet” of who was more right, and seriously say sorry.

Check back next week and the rest of September for more common sayings debunked!

Sunday 8th: Follow Your Heart

Sunday 15th: Speak Your Truth

Sunday 22nd: You Do You

Sunday 29th: God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle

P.S. If you’ve made it this far, you have the opportunity to enter a giveaway! Subscribers received a newsletter last week with the details. If you’re interested in winning, go ahead and subscribe here!

  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • Pinterest - Black Circle

© 2019 Kara Abernathy

Disclaimer: my thoughts do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of my employer.