“But” is such a simple word, in that it’s only three letters long, one syllable, and quite easy to pronounce. At this moment you may be thinking “Why would you want to devote an entire article to this word?” Okay, I admit it; that’s a legitimate question. At first glance, this would be a ridiculous topic, but…
It’s not the simplicity, length, or ease of pronunciation that I want to talk to you about; I want to address the impact that the word has on our lives.
“But”, in many instances, puts limitations on everything. It makes exceptions for everything. It gives us excuses for everything. In essence, that little word gives us an “out” for everything…
I would have applied for that job, BUT…
I wouldn’t have lied to you, BUT…
I would’ve had more money, BUT…
I would have tried harder, BUT…
I would have come to your party, BUT…
I love you, BUT…
You get what I’m trying to tell you here? “But” lets us off the hook, right?
I feel that “but” lulls us into the false belief that we may offend others…that it’s okay for us to settle for less in life…that we can simply ignore some of the important choices that we need to make in life…that we can take the easy way out of many situations.
Here’s a wake-up call for you.
It’s not okay to offend others, or settle for less, or ignore the important stuff, or take the easy way out. What we may not realize is that in doing all of the above, we are actually hurting ourselves. How so?
Our relationships suffer. Our self-confidence suffers. Our integrity suffers. Our self-esteem suffers. Our personal growth suffers. And I don’t know about you, but when I let someone down, or let myself down, or tell a lie (which many “buts” are), my heart suffers.
How about God?
How many times has “but” gotten between you and God?
I was gonna go to church this morning, but I wanted to sleep in.
I didn’t plan on taking Your name in vain, but I lost my temper.
I didn’t want to tell that lie, but it would have been too hard to tell the truth.
I want to put my trust in You, but I’m afraid to let go of this problem.
I wanted to “turn the other cheek”, but I just couldn’t do it.
I want to be a better Christian, but I don’t want to give up certain things in my life.
I want to receive the Holy Spirit, but I’m afraid of things I don’t understand.
I want to be bold with my faith, but I’m afraid of what others may think of me.
I want to be closer to You, God, but I’ve done so much wrong in my life.
Okay, before you think that I’m shooting arrows at you, you should know that all of the “buts” listed above have been mine at some time or another. And to be honest with you, my list probably could’ve been longer.
What if God had a “but” list?
Can you even imagine God saying…?
Geez, I’d love to help you with your problem, but I don’t really have the time.
Yeah, I know that you’ve been praying, but I’ll tell you, I’m just tired of listening.
I know that you came to see me at church this morning, but I needed a day off.
I’d really like to provide you with what you need, but these other people got in line to see me before you did.
God’s list could go on and on too…if He had one. BUT, I know that He doesn’t have one. He’s always “on call”, ready to help us with our problems and provide us with everything that we need. Always has been; always will be. There for us.
I urge you to lose the “but” in your life; when it comes to relationships, decisions, the truth, your actions, and especially in your relationship with God. Do not let your ego, fear, guilt, confidence, or anything else stand in your way. You cannot imagine what you will receive in a full relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9