"God will never give you more than you can handle.": This is a response to many of life's challenges including cancer victims and has been recently used in response to those who feel like they have been born gay and it is too much to be asked to stay abstinent. Some might considered it to be a benign and sometimes spiritual saying; however, I see it as a conversation ender and a statement that is dismissive and is absent of any empathy. If you are suffering and need to tell someone about it and they retort "God will never give you more than you can handle" how do you respond. If you on the giving end of this statement do you really want to share this persons pain? Do you recognize the absurdity of the statement?
Absurdity: If you are suffering from cancer and death is imminent, if you are a family member of the cancer victim, if you have lost a child, if your home has just burned down.... god is testing you. If you loose faith you fail the test. If the pain is too much and you blame god then the problem is yours because he knew you could handle it and you let him down. Conversely if you are wealthy and have had no real challenges in life then god must think you were weaker and would not be able to rise to the test. So you are punished for strength and rewarded for weakness?
"It wasn't in God's plan for you": If you have tried and worked your heart out and it still hasn't happened its because this guy had a different plan for you and failed to tell you. Again an opportunity missed to assuage the hurt feelings of someone who is in pain and demonstrate our humanity. Instead a dismissive remark that invokes piety and hurts someone who may really need empathy is offered. This was a common saying while I grew up and is kind of woven into the the idea that your existence on earth was preordained. Now there was also the idea that you had free agency and so if your life was preordained then you really didn't have free agency.
Absurdity: The saying brings into play two conflicting concepts. You are free, through agency, to chart your own course but if you fail it is because "it wasn't in God's plan for you." If you follow God's plan for you then you give up your agency. So it becomes "Your Mission if you Choose to Accept it" ?
"Pray like it is up to God, Work like it is up to you": This is my favorite saying from annals of pious belief because at least it is an acknowledgement that your dream will likely be realized by your own hard work not divine intervention.
Absurdity: I don't see this saying as absurd as much as I do the interpretation of it. I interpret it as an acknowledgement that there very well could be a possibility that there is not a god up there that is really involved. However, some may say that what you are asking for is too trivial to warrant intervention and therefore your success is up to you alone. God is too busy to help. So if you have cancer and you pray for a cure and that is not answered does that mean your life and your existence is too trivial for god to care about?
So the question is is there a saying that is thrown around your circles that you find absurd or that is a conversation stopper?