Stuff Christians Need to Stop Saying #2

Can the sequel ever match the enthusiasm of the original?  Godfather II was really good as was Empire Strikes Back, and The Two Towers.  However, for every Dark Knight, there is a Teen Wolf II, so we’ll see.

Setup:  Someone is having a hard time overcoming an obstacle of some kind.  They are wanting to have victory over sin, make a change in their life, but they can’t.

Response:  “Well, you just need to let go and let God.”

First of all, I am not a huge fan of quippy.  None of my sermon points ever all start with the letter C, and they certainly do not spell a word.  (In order to blog you need to Believe, Love, Obfuscate and Google.)  That by itself is enough to make me want to punt “Let go and let God.”  I prefer “Go heavy or go home.” 

Secondly, what does that mean anyway?  That is the problem with the overly quippy expressions, to make it short and cute, you sacrifice depth and meaning.  I can only assume that what is being encouraged is some level of passivity and release.  I need to stop working, and let God do the work. 

Let’s break this down.  God is the one that changes people’s hearts and gives the strength to overcome obstacles.  God brings healing in your marriage, restores relationships with your kids, breaks you free from addictions, etc.  Galatians 5 makes it clear that we need the power of the Holy Spirit to live the lives that God has called us to.  There is a battle going on inside of us and we are often on the wrong side.  So, we need to “let God” change us and lead us.

There is even a smidge (love that word) of truth to “let go.”  Luke 9:23 says we need to deny ourselves.  However, what is said next is “take up your cross and follow me.”  “Let go” is completely passive, but there is nothing passive about taking up your cross and following God.  Being totally dependent on God still means that we need to pray and read his word so he can speak into our lives. 

There are specific commands that God gives us, choices that we have to make.  I can just walk away from temptation.  I can stop yelling at my kids, putting down my wife, gossiping at work, looking at inappropriate websites.  I have my part.  When “letting go” encourages helplessness, we have gone too far in believing that everything depends on God.  This can be convenient blame-shifting.  (Before you get to0 mad, know that “God helps those who help themselves” will be coming at some point.)

Make no mistake, you desperately need God in your life.  If you do not let God change your heart and learn to depend on him, you will struggle.  However, if you think that you can just sit there and your life will change, you will struggle just the same.

We have to trust in a God that gives us the strength, courage, and motivation to make the changes in our lives we so desperately need to make, but we have to make the right choices to pursue God and do what is right if we want to have real victory.  (See, that’s not quippy at all.)