Have you ever sighed “That figures” after something bad or disappointing happened to you? My wife used that phrase several times a day. I couldn’t help but notice the frequency of those two words coming from her lips. I got to thinking about what those words actually communicate and I believe hidden below the surface of those words is a curse. Without trying to be overly dramatic, those two seemingly innocent words are destructive. When someone says, “That figures,” they are proclaiming the belief that they have come to expect consistently bad, or at least disappointing results in their life. For example, if your car breaks down along the road and you moan, “That figures;” you are declaring that you have come to expect cars, washing machines, computers, or anything mechanical to break whenever you use them. The thought process behind the words “that figures” is, if anything can go wrong, inevitably it will for me. Along the same line of thought are the phrases, “Just my luck” and “I can never win.”
I suggested to my wife that she should curtail her use of those words because of the dangerous side effects they might produce. She agreed and went to work immediately eliminating those two words as her default response to every adverse situation. It wasn’t easy for her to break the habit. When she received a disappointing piece of news, she would catch those words just as they were coming out of her mouth. “That figggggg” she would mumble. Soon it was down to just, “Thattttttt.” Then eventually the phrase was completely gone from her vocabulary.
We worry about when someone lets a swear word fly, but the real curse words are in disguised as innocent. Christians are not under a curse of constant bad things happening to us. Yes, bad things happen to Christians, but we need not live in fear or expectation of those bad things. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’” Galatians 3:13 NKJV. On the contrary, the Bible declares we are a blessed people. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” Ephesians 1:3 NKJV.
God is a good God. That’s just who He is. He doesn’t take sadistic delight in making our stuff break down, causing things go wrong for us, or causing us to have constant disappointment. He’s not an old man with a big stick ready to beat you down every chance He gets. The Bible says “God is love.” He is a loving Father who desires good things for us.
When we focus on and trust in God’s goodness to us, maybe the words “that figures” don’t have to be curse words. Maybe we can turn them around to be words of praise. For instance, “I woke up alive and well to a brand new day. That figures!” Or, “I have some wonderful friends and family who love me. That figures!” Another example might be, “I have a job and I made it to work this morning safe and sound. That figures!” Let’s continually remember the fact that God is good. He is for us and not against us. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8: 31) He loves us greatly. Our declaration every day should be, “I am deeply loved and greatly blessed by God. God is so good to me. That figures!”