We’ve come to the final post in our Taboo Words series, although I’m sure there are plenty more. This one is one of my favorites, because it is definitely a phrase I hear frequently. My first summer as a camp staffer, I overheard a conversation centered around this concept. I was helping in the decision room after our time of worship one night, which means I stood at the door, passed out pencils and cards as campers came in accompanied by staff or an adult from their church, and monitored what went on in the room. One of my friends on staff came in with Stephen, a little boy we had been praying for all week. They sat close enough to where I was stationed for me to hear their conversation. I listened as my friend asked Stephen what it meant to be a Christian, what sin is, and why Jesus died on the cross. Stephen knew the decision he wanted to make. Then my friend said, “Now all you have to do is pray to be born again!” Stephen immediately put on the brakes.
“…But I love my family. If I’m born again I’ll have a new mom and dad because my parents don’t want any more kids. I don’t want to be born again.”
“Now all you have to do is pray to be born again!”
“You have to start life all over. Nothing from this life will be the same. Say goodbye to your mom and dad. You are getting a new one because you have to be born again.”
“No, Stephen, you don’t have to be born again like you were born into this world. When you become a Christian, God gives you a new life in Him. He makes you a “new creation.” You will still look the same, but the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you and helps to make you become more like Jesus…”
Stephen ended up praying to be “born again” that night. I hope these four funny stories help you remember to always explain the concepts you present to your group fully. I learned that the hard way. I’d also add to this list “be saved” and “accept Christ.” When used apart from an explanation, these can be hard to understand for a concrete thinker.
What other words have you used or heard someone else use that could be “Taboo Words”?