By: Jim Sanders February 20, 2019

Recently I endured a meeting being run by an overly clichéd business consultant.  Candidly, I wanted to shoot the guy.  (One can only take so many over-used phrases in one meeting.)  He used phrases like:

It’s a paradigm shift…
Let’s look at this from 30,000 feet…
At the end of the day…
Let’s get our arms around this…
We want to harness the organic process (what does that even mean?!)

So . . . what do you do when you’re in a situation like this?  You daydream, of course!  And on that day, I got to thinking, if this guy recited John 3:16 right now, here’s how it would likely come out, peppered with his favorite corporate buzz phrases:

For God so “wanted to move the dial,” He “put together an action plan,” so that “at the end of the day,” anyone “who is low hanging fruit” and believes in God’s “turnkey solution” should not “take a deep dive” but have “hockey stick growth” forever

It may be a little sacrilegious, but it certainly helped pass the time.

And, if I’m really honest, he’s not alone.  I’m tempted at times to pull out the MBA lexicon and use some buzz words in a strategy meeting.  Frankly, it’s hard to avoid since using some redundant descriptors because the list of over-used business phrases is virtually endless.  One of my favorites comes from the beloved 1957 black and white movie, 12 Angry Men.  Actor Robert Webber, as an advertising executive on the empaneled jury, offered a suggestion:  “Let’s run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes it.”

Every industry or group has its share of specialized language.  Do you remember Steve Martin making fun of that “inside language” from the world of plumbing?  I’ll never forget his plumber joke from his first comedy album in 1977.

“This lawn supervisor was out on a sprinkler maintenance job and he started working on a Findlay sprinkler head with a Langstrom 7″ gangly wrench. Just then, this little apprentice leaned over and said, “You can’t work on a Findlay sprinkler head with a Langstrom 7″ wrench.” Well this infuriated the supervisor, so he went and got Volume 14 of the Kinsley manual, and he reads to him and says, “The Langstrom 7″ wrench can be used with the Findlay sprocket.” Just then, the little apprentice leaned over and said, “It says sprocket not socket!” 


 “Were these plumbers supposed to be here this show…?”

In 1977, that was hilarious.  (Reading it back now, maybe not so much.)  But it underscores the point . . . every sphere of human engagement has its own vocabulary.

For a while I pursued my Class “A” skydiving license.  In that case, you want to survive freefall, you must learn the language.  Phrases like:

•  Canopy relative work (CRW)
•  Nested O-rings (for releasing the main and deploying the reserve)
•  Wing load (how much work your canopy will be required to perform; generally more after a burrito supreme)
•  Dirt dive (practicing freefall maneuvers while on the ground on “creepers”)

All that to say, Christendom is no exception.  Our faith is littered with some very important insider words and phrases which may seem arcane from the outside.  But in all reality, they have life-altering significance:

•  Sanctification
•  Redemption
•  Hypostatic Union
•  Justification
•  Omnipotence
•  Omnipresence

What IS unique about our terms is how they separate our beliefs from all other religions of the world.  You know Christianity is the sole religion which says you don’t have to work for Nirvana or Heaven or eternal life.  In fact, Christianity says you CAN NOT do anything to earn your way to Heaven.  That work was accomplished at one point in time.  Forever.  Period.  That is the gospel.  The work of Jesus once for all.  You either believe it or you don’t.  But you can’t earn it.

Haven Today is all about applying our collection of Christian buzz words and applying them to everyday life.  And really, when you boil it down, as Charles Morris says each day on the program, it’s ALL about Jesus!  He’s the only Word that counts!


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