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What is Spiritual Bypassing?

Spiritual bypassing is the tendency to use spiritual ideas to avoid pain with spiritual-sounding cliches and platitudes. It's applying a spiritual solution to emotions that need our attention. Most often we learned this from other believers, thinking this is what we're supposed to do.

So, when you hear one, let it be a cue that the person you're listening to is doing their best to avoid admitting there’s a problem. Another possibility is they may not know know another way to deal with the confusion, fear, and loss. It's complex and ingrained in our society. In this short post, I can't possibly give it the attention it deserves. So, here's a brief overview.

You might hear ....

It was for the best. Was it or is it that you were powerless to effect change in that particular situation and you need to process it before the Father?

I need to pray harder. How about an honest admission that we're struggling and we pray, Jesus, help me to be kind to myself?

I asked God to take my anger away. What if God is after the reason behind using our anger?

Starve your fear, feed your faith. What if we got in touch with the reason we're afraid? We might find an insecurity that limits how we show up in our world. David said what time I am afraid I will trust you. David spent a lot of time alone while he was tending to the flock. He used that time to process the fear that followed after fighting off the lions or bears.

You don't need to be sad, God has done so much for you. Okay for real? That only makes a person feel alone and ashamed.

You just have to turn the other cheek. In truth, that's sidestepping the injustice without processing it.

This one is one of my pet peeves. It's the enemy. Is it? or are you blaming the enemy instead of dealing with a conflict head on?

The problem is that cliches and platitudes oversimplify the complex struggles we face in our world today. As we listen to the stories of others or share our own stories, let's offer spiritual support by showing up with empathy and wisdom.

It's saying:

  • What you went through is awful.

  • I'm so sorry

  • This is really hard

  • I hear you

  • I’m with you

Being with someone as they tell their story is an art. One of the best ways to learn the skill is to sit with ourselves and listen to what comes up from our own hearts. As we learn to be present and kind to our own experiences of fear, anger, or grief we can more hold space for others.

In this way, when people share their stories with us, they meet God's story of compassion coming through us. More on this in the future.

Know someone who needs to hear this? Forward this post

Always here for you, just email me at

Until then, Mega Blessings


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