Repetition Isn’t Respect

I haven’t been very dutiful in my posting the last couple of weeks, and I probably won’t post again for another week or two. I am getting surgery on my back to fuse my L5 vertebrae to L4 since the L5 is shifting. I have been dealing (painfully) with sciatica for two years now, and this is the third time I go “under the knife”. God willing, this will be the fix. I know I can count on your prayers for me, and I thank you for them.

OK- now down to business…

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How often have you heard people say “Father God” or “Lord” about a thousand times while praying?

Do you know someone who, when just talking with you, has to acknowledge God in some way, in nearly every other sentence? They talk like this:

“As I was walking home the other day, praise the Lord, I saw my friend who by God’s Grace I have known for a long time. And she has been in good health, thanks to God, my savior, for a while now, and praise the Lord that she yadda, yadda, yadda….”

Look- I am not trying to insult or berate anyone, but really? Can’t you finish a complete thought without having to praise or recognize God in some way?

Here’s why I am writing about what could be just a pet peeve of mine: I believe that automatic and repetitive reference to God becomes empty praise.

What I am saying is that when we say the same thing, over and over, it becomes standard practice, essentially rote repetition, and after a very short time it will become the way we talk, but it will have no essence.

When people continually refer to God in their speech or prayer and do it so often that it becomes a pattern, the heartfelt desire to honor God is no longer why they do it- it now just habit.

When we do or say things so often that we don’t even think about it, it means nothing anymore.

I rarely refer to God in my everyday speech or when I pray after I have already addressed him at the start. I don’t continually interject “Father God” or “Lord” or any direct reference to God- I really think he knows who I’m talking to. And, despite his age, I don’t think he has a problem with short-term memory, so I don’t feel the need to constantly remind him who I am talking to.

My concern, again, is that people who constantly refer to God in one way or another as part of their prayer or speech patterns become inured to why we refer to God in the first place, which is to honor him in all we say and do.

So, if you are feeling that I am picking on you, it is probably because you are one of those who constantly refer to God in your speech and prayer. If so, I am sorry if you feel insulted, but I really think you should consider that by referring to God in every other sentence you have reduced consciously honoring him to nothing more than mindless conditioning.

And I can be fairly certain that the people you are talking to, especially people who aren’t as “spiritually invested” as you are, believe it is fake spirituality and not a real love for God.

You know? Sometimes I think the Lord is sitting on his throne, hearing people refer to him over and over again, and is saying to himself:

“Just talk to me- I already know who I am.”

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to my website and YouTube channel, join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please make sure you click that you agree to the rules, or I can’t let you in), and buy my books. If you like what you get here, you will like my books, as well.

And remember that I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for now, so l’hitraot and (an early) Shabbat Shalom!

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