The first time I heard the term I literally LOL’d!
It was in the context of a workshop designed to help churches know how to find good small group leaders. For those who don’t know, that’s not as easy as it sounds. Among the great deep, thought provoking tips and ideas, this one term stuck out to me. Perhaps it was because of the context: we were instructed that these were not good small group leaders. So as someone who was involved with finding small group leaders, it really mattered that I didn’t get sub-par ones.
We were told (and here’s the term) to avoid “hyper-spiritual God talkers”.
Yep. Hyper-spiritual God talkers. And the reason I laughed out loud—and the reason you are too—is because we know exactly what that term means. They’re the ones who, whether well-meaning or not, always have a Bible verse or a Christian platitude to offer to each and every situation they face. They seem to be very spiritual and certainly they seem very…um…zealous for God. Extremely dedicated and typically patronizing, they seem to have it all together and usually wonder why you don’t.
Proverbs 12:23, however, offers this counsel to the hyper-spiritual God talker in all of us Christians:
The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves,
but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.
Have you ever noticed those who are truly wise don’t have to tell you? Don’t you just know they’re wise? After all, that’s why you go to them in the first place. You know they’re not fake. You know they’re going to listen. And you know they’re probably right.
But when we as Christians allow ourselves to travel down the path of legalistic, hyper-spiritual God talking, we start trying to interject how “wise” we are. But when we do is…if we’re honest, we’re interjecting our spiritual opinions because we just want to be right, noticed, esteemed, or regarded. We’ll mask it as Christianity but we’re really just playing devil’s advocate.
Please remember this: the way we speak will determine how others speak of us. If we’re truly Biblically wise, then we won’t have to tell people. They’ll know. And we won’t care if they know or not.
The only people hyper-spiritual God talkers help are themselves. Let us strive to have the speech of others about us be words telling of wisdom, grace, and love.
The author gratefully acknowledges Larry Osborne and his book Sticky Church for this great term and description.