I am sure we have all been in a conversation at one point or another where we are in the middle of describing something and we get frustrated because the person cannot understand what we are talking about. Imagine a bunch of guys sitting around talking and some girls hear this :
“It’s only a flesh wound!”
“She turned me into a newt…but I got better.”
“This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let’s not bicker and argue over who killed who.”
“Run Away. Run Away.”
“What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
“We want a shrubbery!”
The girls will then ask, “Why are you guys always quoting movie lines? We don’t get it!”
The guy with the most patience (or least experience) will try his best to explain the virtues of Monty Python or the common bond that is forged in the quote sparing between a ‘band of brothers’ but the look of bored apathy will then force a fellow aficionado to say, “It’s a guy thing…!” If you are female, you know instantly that you have just been cast aside as a clueless outsider and there is no chance that you could ever understand the delicate and deep ponderings of the creation called Man!
Lest I be thought of as misogynist, there have been many times when my deficit of appreciation for chick-flicks and a ‘good cry’ force my wife or daughter to offer me a similar dismissal, “It’s a girl thing…you wouldn’t understand!” (Allow me to apologize right now for my obvious bias towards a man’s point of view but the thought if intentionally yanking half of my eyebrows out on a regular basis or spending an entire day at the mall drains every ounce of energy from my ever flabbier body!)
Before I get into any more trouble with my wife (or female readers), let me make a point. When you hear that something is a “guy thing” or a “girl thing” or an “any thing”, you are being told that “you do not have the capacity to understand or appreciate the subject matter. It is best if we change the subject because I am not prepared or willing to explain why this issue should have any importance to you.” Granted, this is rarely a conscience thought but is is certainly communicated that the subject is now closed and we should move on. If you doubt me, try using the phrase sometime and see how long the conversation lasts after you have dropped the “It’s a _____thing...”.
So if the “thing phrase” is so common and yet so dismissive, why do I bring it up? I am glad you asked. I find a strange trend has developed over the last decade. It goes like this: “I was praying for this or that” OR “I couldn’t believe that this or that happened…it was a God-Thing!” The great answer to prayer or the gift that was beyond imagination has just been reduced to a dismissive phrase…”It’s a God-thing!” The Creator of the Universe; the heavenly Father that longs to give good gifts to His children has just been placed in a parenthesis…”It’s a god-thing!”
If you believe that words mean things, then we are forced to look at the very words that we use to describe a God that cares enough to show His love for us in a tangible way…and we choose to refer to it as a thing? I believe we have missed an opportunity. We have missed the chance to give God the honor that He deserves. I believe this phrase leads us to diminishing the very gift of God and the opportunity to share with someone else how He has worked miraculously in our lives. Describe it!! Celebrate it!! But let us not dismiss it as a thing so commonplace that it only rises to the level of a god-thing!
Open Mic: Share Your Thoughts
- Has God given you a gift that gives you the chance to give the glory back to Him?
- What phrase do you use that may offer a better way to describe God’s gifts in your life?
- What deliberate choices have you made to divert glory to God rather than yourself or the circumstances?