What would preachers, politicians, and sports writers have to say without clichés? According to my American Heritage Dictionary, a cliche is “a trite or overused expression or idea.” Of course, there is truth in clichés. If there was no truth, we would not use them. Still, some are used so much that wise preachers would do well to avoid them. At least, you should. When I use them, that’s different.
I’ve compiled a short list of preacher clichés, and I hope our readers will add to my list. Here are some that I’ve heard (or used).
Every head bowed and every eye closed.
If no one responds on this verse, I’m going to close the invitation.
God bless you; I see that hand.
We seek not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice.
You can’t out-give God.
We need to return to the faith of our founding fathers. (Mark’s warning—be selective about which founding father you choose.)
If God does not punish the United States of America, He will owe Sodom and Gomorrah an apology. (terrible theology)
Can I get a testimony in the house of God?
I believe he’ll get to heaven if he doesn’t overshoot it.
That boy was so fired up he was ready to storm the gates of hell with a water pistol.
If God can speak through Balaam’s donkey, I guess he can speak through that guy. (often muttered by preaching students in seminary)
You can’t shack up with the devil and expect God to pay the rent. (You may want to use this.)
We’re more concerned to be biblically correct than politically correct. (I confess to using this one.)
In my humble but accurate opinion.
Turn over in your Bibles (physically difficult to do)
The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
Pointy-headed professors (I heard the pastor at my sister’s church rant for 15 minutes about pointy-headed professors. When we returned home, I checked my appearance in the mirror.)
So, preachers and hearers of preaching, can you add to my list?