The inspirational quote

These days you see it coupled with a great photograph or watercolor art. It used to be crocheted on some homemade pillow. I’m talking about the – get ready – INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE. (insert music with birds chirping in the background).

You can’t avoid them these days. Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. Gift shops. Even gas stations have them. They’re taking over. They’re like the fire ants of the Hallmark world.

  • “Peace is where you make it…”
  • “Go where you are celebrated – not tolerated. If they can’t see the real value of you, it’s time for a new start.”
  • “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”
  •  “If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission.”
  • “I was wondering why the frisbee was getting bigger… Then it hit me.”

Even in the new Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice movie (which I reviewed here), Martha Kent opined,

“Be their hero, Clark. Be their angel, be their monument, be anything they need you to be… or be none of it. You don’t owe this world a thing. You never did.”

Really, Martha? Come on.

Usually these quotes are combined with a picture like the one at right and a font that must have been scientifically determined to provoke the same chemical in your brain that is triggered when you have your favorite ice cream. These fru-fru artsy images are intended to further garner your inspired meditation.

Why are there so many stupid quotes out there? The sad thing is that really smart people will repost them. If we’d all pause to evaluate them and simply ask, “Is this true? Does it actually make sense?”

Instead, we post and even create them. We are quick to think that a sound byte or attractive image equates with wisdom. Because something rolls off the tongue or is alliterative, it’s proverbial.

Wrong.

We are perpetuating mindlessness. Even Christians, who claim that the Bible is God’s Word will ignorantly get caught up in the trendiness of these cliches. Without evaluating what they advocate on their social media, walls and pillow, we actually reveal our biblical illiteracy. How many of the quotes we post or choose to obsess over are antithetical to biblical truth and Christian reality?

An over-reliance on popular, cultural slogans – no matter how motivational in the short-term – may actually stunt our spiritual growth. They make us look to the world for wisdom, guidance and temporary feel-goods instead of to a God who loves us and His Word which transforms us by renewing our minds.

I could segue here into a sermonette and simply say, “Post what’s true. Use the Bible, folks.”

However, I think I’ll simply say, “Quit posting stupid stuff.” Please. It’s killing brain cells. (But it’s sooooo pretttttyyy….)

 

On this day...

6 comments

  1. vanessa says:
    I don’t know. I rather like the, “I was wondering why the frisbee was getting bigger… Then it hit me” quote. Quite inspirational. Of course, that might be the concussion talking.
  2. Sarah Beyer says:
    I definitely agree that quotes should true and biblical and unstupid, but I am raising a sweet girl who is blessing God and others by making beautiful inspirational watercolors. I know you’re making fun of stupid quotes here but it kind of sounds like you’re making fun of her art too.
    1. Jeff says:
      Not at all! when you take truth and decorate it, it makes that truth even more compelling because God is a God of beauty and creativity!
      1. Sarah Beyer says:
        I know that’s what you meant, but it’s hard to read that with the phrases “fru-fru artsy images” and “fire ants of the hallmark world” in there. Regardless of your intention, I think Leah would be crushed to read this.
        1. Jeff says:
          I certainly hope not, but I’m going to send her a quick email just to encourage her otherwise! Thanks for your comments!
  3. Chris Cromer says:
    I’m really glad you wrote about this subject! It’s really hard to point out problems like this without sounding condescending, but I think you worded it well. I can tell this is about more than pointless “fluff” quotes, but I think that is an appropriate example. I see it as a statement that we should be more mindful of what we write, say, or think, as it will make us more aware of the people around us, the issues going on, and our own faith. I’ve been challenging myself and my close friends recently to go beyond tolerance of hearing generic responses or quotes or beliefs and actually ask questions about them. Asking questions not to make yourself seem better, but for both to learn and grow through a constructive conversation

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