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Misquote: Confronting Hollow Phrases with God-filled Truth, Part 2

August 24, 2009

GL.001.jpgThere is no single hollow phrase more common than “good luck.” Preceding every vacation, track meet, piano recital, final test, and every other event in national history, these inevitable words have been spoken. Are people really this subtly offensive? Clearly we excelled when in comes to overt slander and ridicule. One need go no further than the Colbert Report, The Daily Show, or any contemporary stand up comedian to know that there is a comedic monopoly on unambiguous defamation. However, the common population may wield the ultimate weapon of subversive insults.

“Good luck” is the most offensive thing that you could ever say to someone. When telling (or wishing) someone “good luck” essentially you are saying, “may you by no credit, skill, virtue, quality, ability, talent, or deserving of your own come out favorably in this situation.” “Good luck” assumes that the cards are stacked against the person you are well-wishing, therefore their only hope is chance. So you congenially wish upon a star in the name of your unskilled, double-left footed friend.

Additionally, “good luck” is an atheistic concept. Such a phrase assumes a reality that denigrates control and promotes chance. Jesus, however, is in control of creation and history (Col 1:17). The sovereignty of God demonstrates that nothing happens without God either allowing or making it happen. God is at work in all things, therefore luck is lost in the ubiquitous reign of God (Rom 8:28; John 18:36). To pronounce luck over a situation is to assume the absence of God.

Why should we care? Nobody really means either of these things when they say “good luck,” right? Especially Christians. It is not that easy. Believers are not afforded the luxury of lethargic, ignorant cultural habits. Those in Christ are to love our Lord Jesus and glorify him with everything that we are, say, and do (Deut 6:5, 1 Cor 10:31). Kingdom opportunity lurks within the currents of cultural monotony. To swim against such tides is to boldly proclaim Jesus as King and his inbreaking Kingdom as supreme.


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