I don’t like the phrase, “It’s a God thing.”
I just don’t.
I’m willing to be corrected on this, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
People use the phrase with wonderfully pious intentions. They’ve noticed, perhaps more clearly than other times, an instance where the Lord has blessed them in ways they hadn’t realized or recognized. And so they say things like, “Oh, wow. I got a bonus at work. It’s a total God thing!”
I get that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. I know what they mean. And I love that the Giver of all good gifts is being recognized as just that. But . . . I still don’t like it.I t makes me unsettled.
There was one graduate student from Kenya during my time at CTS who will forever be set apart in my mind. No matter the topic, he always found a reason to say, “Thanks be to God!” or “Praise be to Christ!”
The sun was shining. “Thanks be to God.” He ate tacos for lunch. “Praise be to Christ!” The printer at the library didn’t jam when he needed to run off his paper. “Thanks be to God.” It didn’t matter what the topic was or if he was having a good day or a bad day, if things were going his way or if he missed his family. He always, unequivocally, without fail bore clear witness to Christ in the way in which he worded his response.
I remember that those phrases sounded strange to my ears at the time. I certainly didn’t run around campus “Thanks-be-to-God-ing” every time the Lord’s goodness was boldly set before me. But he did. And he meant it. And his exclamations of joy and gratefulness were direct, pointed, clear.
I understand what “It’s a God thing” is getting at. I can appreciate why people toss it out there. But I also think we can do better, be more purposeful, not shy away from choosing bold words that mean what we’re thinking.
But then again, maybe it’s just me.