I’m not sure where this phrase started. Although I have three friends who all individually swear they were the ones who created the hybrid word “chillaxing,” no one has claimed this phrase to the best of my knowledge.
Yet there it is, popping up like Canada Geese on golf courses. (Is there a more pretentious bird on the planet, by the way?) You can’t go on Facebook without seeing it. You can’t go on Twitter without it dancing across the screen. Friend after friend is using it. It’s practically social media punctuation at this point.
If you’ve never experienced it before, where do you live so that I can move there and experience this “Just saying-less utopia” you’ve discovered? I bet it’s in Colorado, seems like a lot of good stuff is in Colorado these days. But here’s how it works if you’ve never seen it wielded at the hand of a Christian:
One part snark + One part bitterness + Just saying = Complete forgiveness for whatever you’ve just said.
But here’s why I don’t like it. Here’s why I’ve thrown my social media weight in with the People Against Just Saying Coalition (PAJSC), a group I just invented. (It’s pronounced “Paj” like “Cas” from the first part of cashmere. The S and the C are silent.)
Reasons I’m against “Just saying”
1. You’re not fooling anyone.
Adding a smiley emoticon at the end of a bitter sentence doesn’t remove the bitterness. Neither does “Just saying.” You can’t Mary Poppins your way out of this with a spoonful of sugar.
2. At no point in the Bible is the phrase referenced.
I’m almost positive when we’re told to love our neighbors there’s not a follow-up verse that says, “Unless you’ve got some barb you want to throw and are able to tie it all perfectly with a ‘just saying.’”
3. It sounds like something the Pharisees would say.
Speaking of the Bible, can’t you see the Pharisees saying this phrase nonstop? “Jesus, you healed someone on the Sabbath, which is against ancient law. Just saying.”
4. It’s cowardly.
I’ve used this phrase before, and the reason I did was because I was being a wuss. I had something I wanted to say but still wanted to hold on to my thin veneer of holiness, so I said something mean and then ended the thought with “just saying.” Or, maybe you have something legitimate that needs to be said to someone in an email. Maybe it’s a tough bit of love or critique that you’re afraid to give them. Instead of coming right out and saying it, you couch it in sarcasm and try to soften it with “Just saying.” Don’t. Let’s not be cowards.
My hope is that you’ll join the PAJSC and turn in the phrase “Just saying” at the convenient drop-off locations we’ve set up across the country. Plus, membership comes with a really soft hoodie. The kind that feels like you’ve owned it for 14 years and used to wear it to Kanakuk Kamps when you were a kid. So that’s something.
But if you don’t, if you want to keep using the phrase “Just saying,” go right ahead. That’s between you and God and baby Jesus. Just saying.
Have you ever seen someone use the phrase “Just saying” online?