When Fine is Feign and Asking Vain

Galatians 6 2We’ve said it a million times. Someone will ask us how we are doing and we automatically respond with “Fine” though-

We are facing a financial crisis or

A family member has just been diagnosed with cancer or

Our child is continually being reprimanded by his teacher or

___You fill in the blank__

The church hallways are filled with “fine.” The one place where we should feel free to share our burdens is the one place where we wear a smile while our heart is breaking. This is an impious form of hypocrisy.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. -Galatians 6:2

The one who asks can be just as guilty. “How are you?” has become as automatic as a “hello.” Asking is in vain. It is meaningless. Another hypocrisy wrapped in an open ended question. Words said robotically not from a heart who is truly seeking to know what is going on in our lives.

A few months ago I was at a Chick-fil-a. I was on my way to see my friend who was once again in the hospital battling her cancer. As I approached the register the manager said, “Hi. How are you today?” And the way he asked made me think that he actually cared. So I fought back the word “fine” and I told him that I wasn’t having a good day as I was going to be seeing my friend with cancer whose prognosis is not good. He genuinely said he was sorry and he even gave me my meal at no charge. I believe he most likely prayed for me and my friend that day too. He asked because he cared.

If a stranger can do that, how much more should we as brothers and sisters in Christ? Let us remove our feign masks for authenticity and let our “how are yous” be genuine as we seek to carry one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ-the law of love.


2 thoughts on “When Fine is Feign and Asking Vain

  1. I think if it’s someone we have a relationship with and it seems they have the time then at our discretion we could tell them we’re having a hard day or whatever. If it’s just robotical a “good” or “I’ve had better days” could be sufficient. The second might allow for more questioning if the person wants to pursue why the day isn’t goingvso well.

  2. How would you suggest answering when someone asks “how are you” in the typical robot-like manner? I usually try to say something short (other than “fine”), but sometimes it’s hard to know when to really be honest and when to give a quick one-word answer.

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