One of the things I keep hearing from friends who are in full time missions is that the Church in America has no idea of the power of Christ. It is true. We think we know, but, honestly, until you live and work in the total depravity that exists in some places in the world for an extended period of time, the chances of any of us really understanding God's power is minimal.

When I was talking to one such friend this morning he noted that the word coincidence is the worst cuss word that there is because it strips God's power from our perspectives. We didn't discuss the word luck, but I have to think that this is on his poop list too. He even noted that he would rather people drop the F-bomb than the word coincidence.

It seems, that with God, there is no such thing as coincidence. Our God is a God of purpose and intent. When we use words like "coincidence" and "luck", do we fail to give God the reverence and respect that He wants us to give?

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Like when we wish someone "good luck"?

Paul wishes people "grace, mercy and peace" both without qualification (Thessalonians) and qualified (Galatians).

I have a new pastor, who wished me "good luck", a term I've never actually used myself, and while at first it made me nervous, I saw his smile and his genuine desire for the situation to go well with me. 

Now "coincidence" merely means "things happening at the same time", with an unspoken implication of "oddly coincident", as in the case of Pompey's career going sour after he peeked into the Holy of Holies.  Was he just a jerk who had it coming anyway, or did he start to get "bad luck", or did God start putting trip-roots in his path? 

Even if there is such a thing as good luck and bad luck (there was a ballplayer who said "I'd rather be lucky than good"), I'd just rather be out there helping the cause of grace, mercy and peace, and being content with the amount of same that came my way, and glad for being one of Christ's.

We used to use the word 'godincidence' round this way a few years back. TBH I don't really hear those words you mentioned used in church circles. It's a cultural difference, and words carry different meanings - almost a different spirit- with them over here compared to the US.

 

The closest we come is to describe something as 'fortunate', which has come to mean the same as 'good', rather than carrying implications of chance (the real meaning).

It's a two edged sword. Nothing is a coincidence. But, we have to be careful when attempting to get guidance this way. Assigning some kind of message or "sign from God" in most cases amounts to divination.Thus, we know it all comes from God (shall we accept good from God but not bad?), but we still may find ourselves having categorize it as coincidence.

I remember hearing someone talk about when they had their car window smashed. People asked him "what is God saying to you through this?" His reply "get the window fixed".

 

It's safe to look for God in everything, but also to make sure we don't put 'words into His mouth'. I expect God to align things for my life, but I don't necessarily expect Him to tell me all the time He's doing them any more than I should ask him whether to brush my teeth before going to bed.

Good point - about the window. Sounds like we're saying the same thing. Ultimately, I consider the sovereign will of God as something that is normally out of my realm and reserved only for Him unless He makes an exception and let's me in on it.

Interesting subject.

I get what Toni is saying about a cultural difference and also understand Stevo's 'two edged sword' theory.

I have found myself 'wishing' people 'all the best' for example, of course I don't mean it literally............ but then thinks I.............I need to find another way of wording it.

OK, I have to tell this story now that you've said "all the best". One of the Roosevelt's (not sure which one) apparently loathed social gatherings because he thought people were always saying meaningless things like "how are you" and "oh how nice" or "well, all the best then..." He decided to test this one day.

He decided to change his response to people's question of "how are you". Instead of saying "I'm just fine", he decided to say "I just murdered my mother this morning". Everyone just smiled and said, "god bless you then", or "well, all the best". Then one person, only one, finally listened and heard what he said and leaned in and whispered, "well, I'm sure she had it coming sir, God bless you".

FDR.  And to my knowledge, it's true:)

 

I used that last year (you can use it only once!) to open the "meet-and-greet" time at our church.  The people roared when they heared it, and we had a lot of genuine fellowship that evening!

Ah, see, I wasn't listening when he said "FDR."

What's FDR mean. drr?

 

Good story, and very typical. Referring to the word 'nice', I remember when I was about eight years old that a teacher told us never to use the word 'nice' in any context whatsoever, as it was a meaningless word. I do use it occasionally when it seems fitting, but it was one of those things that stuck with me!

 

A long time back (20+ years) on walking into church I was asked by one of the elders how I was, and as I'd been down and struggling at the time I just told him the truth. He walked away, unable to cope.

 

:P

 

The 'how are you/I'm fine thanks' is just a way of people recognising each others presence and saying that they'll be pleasant to you face. It's like a cat greeting you with a prrrppp sound in the morning, and is part of the natural social lubrication that lets people interact. It CAN mean more, but that's not what it's there to communicate most of the time.

 

Lorraine - I use the word nice sometimes when I'm trying to describe the condition of cells viewed under a microscope for their growth record. It's much easier than saying, round, fat, smooth, shiny, dividing and not too dense. There's is something very pleasing about 'nice' cells that's easy on the eye and calming to the mind: they're growing well and I know I won't be having trouble with them!

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