Why Cookie-Cutter Answers Drive Me Crazy


Why Cookie-Cutter Answers Drive Me Crazy


by Markey Motsinger


Have you ever told someone your story only to have them give you a cookie-cutter answer like “God has a purpose” or “God’s timing is perfect”? These are all truthful statements, but what do they really do to help us grow, heal, or love Jesus more? How do these answers comfort the mom who just lost a child or a 25 year who was diagnosed with cancer? 

I struggle to relate to these answers. Life with Christ isn’t easy, and I find it even harder when people try to answer life’s hardships and mysteries with phrases that bring more mystery and questions. In the middle of a storm, the last thing that seems to help is when people simplify my situations and questions to a level that doesn’t exist in my life.

Often, when I accept these types of cookie-cutter answer, it stops me from striving for a deeper understanding of what God is trying to show me through the struggle. Instead of a digesting cookie-cutter answers, God is encouraging me to sit in the mess, and wait for Him. 

I get it, what else are people supposed to say? I would argue that there are a lot of things they could say besides an answer that doesn’t really answer anything at all. Instead of talking,I want to learn to stand in the awkward silence, or wade out into others swampy mess. I want to acknowledge the person’s situation, and how I too don’t fully understand why it’s happening. Lastly, I want to support them by helping them worship when they don’t want to and pray for them when they don’t know what to say. 

 This is what I want. I want friends that dive into the hard questions and help me sort through the mess. I want a group that encourages me to sit longer and ask more questions. Ultimately, I want women around me, that no matter what, point me to Jesus. 

Your Turn…

Have you ever thought about why we give cookie-cutter answers? Maybe it makes us feel better to have said something rather than nothing or maybe we don’t know how to relate. Whatever the reason, can I throw a challenge out there for all of us?

What if instead of a quick response, we stopped to think about the person we are talking to? To pause and think about what words or actions truly apply to their situation. To determine if they are in a place to accept and apply what we are about to say in a way that brings them closer to finding what God is trying to show them. 

If you pause and are unsure of what to say, here are some things to say or do instead of automatically giving the cookie-cutter answer... 

  1. Simply acknowledge where they are at.

  2. Ask them what they need.

  3. Make yourself available to listen as they process through the journey.

We are all different, but one thing God said we all need is people to help us walk through this thing called life. We need each other to offer us unconditional love and grace and always point us back to Him. This process of thinking before responding can be awkward at first but in the end it helps bring healing to the person and allows you to be used by God in a unique way.



Hi there! I’m Markey! I’m inviting you to pull up a chair and join me in this thing called life. With me, you won’t find much fluff, but you will find an ordinary, girl who craves authenticity and Jesus. Visit me here to read my blog or grab some free Bible studies and reading plans.



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