Les Clemens
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As a sports fan I am familiar with  many of the overused cliches used by athletes, commentators and fans alike. Phrases like, “It ain't over till it's over” as baseball legend Yogi Bera coined it or  “You just gotta give a hundred  percent”.  These little sports colloquialisms serve to make a point but ultimately fail because not a great deal of thought is put into them. But boy do they ever sound great in a post-game interview!

All areas of life have their cliches, even the church. Yes we who live in the culture of evangelical Christianity  have our own set of cliches. How often do we hear phrases like, “Prayer changes things”, “Just say yes to Jesus" or “Let go and let God”. Now all of these are stated with meaningful intent and contain a modicum of truth. Also, I certainly would not want to diminish the heart desire behind those who make them. But too often they come across as, well, cliched, as something without real thought put into them. In other words we too often trade a robust and transparently  biblical response to the ills of the world  for a cute and catchy phrase. I would suggest that while such phrases may have their place, what is really needed in the minds and mouths of Jesus’ disciples are  terms and expressions that reveal the heart of the gospel. Terms and expressions that reveal a knowledge of and love for the Word of God. In this way we show the world that Christianity indeed is true and alone has the solution to the very foundational problem they have - separation from God.

Now a further point needs to be made here. If we are to have real biblical answers to life questions we need to be familiar with the Bible itself. Only a deeper understanding of God’s word will give us both the understanding and words to communicate the truth of what  he has said. 1 Peter 3:15 states, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have”. Preparedness necessitates hard work and study. The glory of the Lord and furtherance of the gospel is worth it. So brush up on your Bible and be prepared to give more than a cliche in response to the inquiries of others.