I have been watching my words more closely – really trying to confess and throw out the trash, and replace unrighteousness with truth. Only say what I mean and mean what I say. It’s been going pretty well. I hope to have buried some phrases that really don’t do any good – don’t describe anything well, nor build anyone up.

And

I have had one annoying phrase creep in. It’s REALLY annoying when I say it, because it’s generic and insincere. It’s REALLY annoying because it isn’t truth spoken in love.

Now,

I’m not trying to give Southerners a bad rap. There may be some unsavory habits to be gained by hanging out with a Yankee. (I am a Yankee transplanted to the South). There’s a small bit of the South that has come in, stayed a while, and is time to get out.

Today I caught myself saying this phrase and as soon as it came out of my mouth, I wanted to shove it back in. I wanted to chew up those words and digest them forever, never to choke on them again, unless I actually meant it, purely.

“Bless her heart.” Why? What I really meant and was thinking was “wow, that person and situation is really difficult.” Or “I have a tough time understanding him/her and therefore being around him/her.” Or “I understand how that would be tough for you, maybe that situation will improve in time.”

That’s what I meant. Why do I feel compelled to cast an insincere ‘blessing?’

More ironically, I have tended to use this with people who are not really into God at the moment: they don’t attend church, don’t read the Bible, and don’t really want to hear about it, thank you very much. They certainly, therefore, don’t need from me, an insincere misrepresentation of a phrase that truly is meant to encourage. The last thing people “not into God at the moment” need is a hypocrite. They need truth, love, humility,  not some generic conversational fodder.

You could say I was really convicted today.
You could say “Bless Her Heart,” and if you meant it, I’d really appreciate it.

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