“Well, I wish you the best of luck with that surgery.”
“Joe, we’re Reformed remember? Luck has nothing to do with it. Everything is in God’s Providence.”
“Well, I was just speaking in the vernacular. You know what I mean.”
Yes, I do know what he means. The above was a conversation that preceeded nasal surgery I had last Friday. I had not talked to Joe in years and in God’s Providence, talked to him about a week before my surgery and the above is part of that conversation.
You can probably see where I’m going with this. Joe has been a Christian for at least the last 25-30 years and has been through some difficult providences himself which would lead me to believe that he should now have a grasp on the doctrine of Providence which would, in my opinion, cause him to speak correctly. Nevertheless, he wished me “good luck.” If my surgery depended on luck I never would have left my bed last Friday morn.
To some this is a trivial matter. Everyone talks that way, “you know what I mean” Joe said. But as Reformed Christians I think its time to start talking like who we say we are. “Luck” should not be in our vocabulary. God is in control, not some wishy-washy, hopeful expectation of events, that I hope go my way. Let’s recall q&a #7 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism: What are the Decrees of God? The Decrees of God are His eternal purpose, According to the counsel of His will, whereby, for His own Glory, He hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass. (Q&A #11 of Keach’s Catechism is virtually the same.) And, how about a verse like Eph.1:11 which reminds us that all has been foreordained: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
So why do we persist in using incorrect language as we go about our daily lives? Unbelief is one reason that comes to mind. We don’t really believe what we say we do. Laziness would be another. Lazy to the things of God. Embarassment is likely another reason. We don’t want to talk differently from others and bring attention to the fact that we are different from those around us. I think its time we take account of our speech and listen to ourselves. Its time to be faithful in the little things for how else can we be faithful in the bigger things?