It isn’t. For one thing, the sky looks black at night and red in the morning. Furthermore, any scientist will tell you there is no sky. The atmosphere above us just looks blue because blue light reflects off the air better than the other wavelengths. The “sky” is no more blue than the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Our communication today is filled with clichés and well-known bits of assumed truths. However, many of them are actually false. Here are some more examples:
“The customer is always right.”
As someone who works in customer service, sometimes I want to sock the guy who originally started circulating this myth. I understand the maxim's value as a promotional device, but I am pretty sure you can figure out a host of situations in which it is completely false.
“Slow and steady win the race.”
I competed in cross country running a few years ago. I ran slow and steady, but I never won any races. In fact, I was the slowest person on my team. That fall I learned that fast and steady wins the race. The reason the tortoise beat the hare in the myth (and let’s remember that this whole philosophy is based on a myth) is because the hare got prideful and fell asleep. The real moral: don’t get cocky.
“Practice makes perfect.”
No human being on earth is perfect. Some people just have greater intervals between their obvious mistakes.
“What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.”
There are, of course, other honorable mentions that I disagree with (e.g. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”) but I will forbear ranting about those for the present. The only other cliché that needs to be addressed is one that has resulted the deception of millions of people, affecting their lives now and in eternity.
“If your good works outweigh your bad ones, you’ll get into heaven.”
Unfortunately, as pastor Adrian Rogers puts it, “God doesn’t grade on the curve.” His standard is moral perfection (Matt 5:48). Yet, because all of us fail this criteria, we have no hope of doing good things as some way of bribing God to forbear serving justice (Romans 3:19-20). Only when Christ trades His righteousness for our sin can the scale tip in our favor.
Because resting our faith on a false slogan will can lead to our life falling apart, it’s critical that we do not blindly follow them (Matthew 15:14). “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” 1 John 4:1.
The complete truth is rarely contained in an oversimplified, memorable one-liner. Reality is far more complex than we would like to think. As H. L. Mencken put it, “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.” Even though our (lazy) minds long for simplistic maxims to be true, that desire does not actually validate them. Some truths cannot be accurately compressed into a tweet.
Repetition doesn’t make a saying true. Next time someone tells you the sky is blue, remember that there’s always more to the truth than “first meets the eye.”
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About Nathaniel Hendry
I blog on common social issues from a reasoned, conservative Christian perspective in easy to understand writing. I am committed to academic excellence in writing and supported by solid reasoning and research.
About A Worthy Word
The Worthy Word isn't mine, but God's. I just try to explain the truly Worthy Word and encourage you from it.