What’s Really Behind It?

What’s really behind “the Lord told me” Christianeze?

All of this has led me to ask a simple question: “Why do so many people feel the need to broadcast to others what they think God told them?”

I’m loathe to judge the motives of others. In fact, motive-judging is one of the most destructive things that a Christian can engage in. It destroys relationships. For this reason, the Lord had some very strong thoughts about it (Matt. 7:1–5; 1 Cor. 4:3–5).

However, upon the honest admission of some Christians whom I’ve known, here are six reasons why at least some people choose to use this hyper-spiritual language. Read their own confessions:

  • “If I could say that ‘God told me’ to do something, then I didn’t feel responsible for whatever He told me to do. God was responsible.”
  • “It made me sound more spiritual when I made sure that people knew that it was God who was talking to me. Plus, all my friends talk this way.”
  • “I was afraid that if I didn’t say ‘God told me,’ people wouldn’t accept what I said. Or they would argue with my decision.”
  • “I had a desire to lead others. If I could convince them that God told me something, I found that they would follow me.”
  • “I really didn’t want to keep conversing about a specific matter that I didn’t feel comfortable with, so I ended it with ‘God told me.’ How can anyone argue with that?”
  • “I wanted so bad to hear God’s voice that I thought if I said that He always spoke to me in everything, it would become a reality.”

Please reflect on the above. And note that these people were largely unconscious of their motives until later.

I know that there are many Christians who don’t have these motives operating in them. In such cases, I believe it’s a matter of thoughtlessly borrowing the language of a particular Christian subculture. “Everyone else talks that way in my church, so I guess I just naturally picked it up subconsciously.”

From Revise Us Again by Frank Viola, author