It’s graduation season and your mailbox is likely filled with graduation invitations and pictures. Your church has likely asked graduates to stand and be recognized or marched them across the stage as proud family members took photos and celebrated/mourned the ending of an important season in their lives. It is an exciting time for graduates. College or work plans are coming together, and more responsibility is being enjoyed. In the midst of all the celebrations, graduates hear some untrue and worthless advice. The clichés tossed around are inaccurate at best and often cruel because of where they can lead. Here are three clichés we should not be giving to the graduates in our lives.
1. Follow your heart.
Because our hearts are wicked, deceitful, and beyond our own understanding, the advice to “follow your heart” is extremely cruel. Foolish and harmful decisions are made every single day because of that advice. Careers have been derailed, relationships have been destroyed, and much has been lost as people follow their hearts to their own demise. Graduates, follow your heart only if your heart is delighting in the Lord. Unless our hearts are fully devoted to the Lord, encouragement to follow our hearts is horrible counsel.
2. God won’t give you more than you can handle.
“Don’t worry as you face new pressures; God won’t give you more than you can handle,” has been told to countless graduates. And it is not true at all. At times, God most certainly gives us more than we can handle so we will be overwhelmed and seek Him. The moments of being overwhelmed and stripped of our self-reliance are often the most significant moments in our spiritual maturation. Graduates, you will have moments that are more than you can handle. In those moments, cry out to Him.
3. You can do anything through Christ.
“You can do anything! In fact, you can do all things through Christ.” Oh, how I have wished this were true as I have wanted to dunk a basketball in a game for such a long time. And I can’t do it. But more importantly, the verse that speaks to “doing all things in Christ” is about being content in difficult situations because Christ is enough. We can persevere because of Christ. Graduates, you can’t do all things. You will have times of struggle. There will be some things you try that are not for you. Some college classes will come easier than others. But you can persevere in that moment because of Christ.