I know it's only a manner of speaking, and I do it myself, but when said to someone who is hurting or vulnerable, and it's like a slap in the face to them.
Worse still, I've found that I've been reacting in exactly the wrong way to people who say these things, by going to the opposite extreme. And then today I read this:
The devil always sends errors into the world in pairs of opposites
He relies on your dislike of one to draw you into the opposite one.
Oops. That sounds like me.
I think we like absolute statements because they make things simple, because it draws a line between me and the other thing, because I can use it to put me in the right ... or so I think. Every time I make an absolute statement I implicitly take on the role of God: I make a judgment. But how often that judgment is made through the eyes of my culture and prejudice, and especially out of my own incomplete vision.
I wrote recently that "I see through the filter of culture and prejudice ... God sees unfiltered. I want God's eyes, but I'm scared of what I might see!" And because I fear, I judge. And when I judge, I draw a line. And when I draw a line I proclaim that I understand fully, that I can see clearly, and that this is the true absolute of it all.
Shiver ... to quote Lewis again: "It is not a question of God sending us to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE hell unless it is nipped in the bud."
There are few absolutes in our lives. "God is Love". That's one. "I am broken" is another.