I’m hearing a lot of buts lately. It’s in the form of “yes, but . . .” and “but <he, she, you, they> . . .”
I shouldn’t have hit my brother, but he deserved it.
Yes, we lost, but the refs were awful.
I shouldn’t have said that, but their fans are annoying.
I shouldn’t have sent that text, but she’s an idiot.
I know God says to honor authorities, but he’s not my president.
Yes, he said offensive things, but he didn’t really mean them.
I shouldn’t have bought those expensive boots, but I deserve something nice.
I shouldn’t have gone to that website, but she hasn’t touched me in ages.
From politics to sports to interpersonal relationships, it seems we can rationalize just about any behavior to fool ourselves into thinking we are good or our choices are acceptable. Christians, we need to stop. Because—deep down—you know the truth that nobody else’s sin makes your sin acceptable.
With the Holy Spirit living inside us, we have the self-control to “give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways” (Proverbs 4:26). We have the ability to forgive others and serve them because we know the forgiveness and mercy that has been shown to us. We have the wisdom to know that “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). We have the ability to keep our earthly authorities in perspective because we have an eternal God. We accept responsibility for our sins because we know Jesus accepted the ultimate consequence for them. And we “consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1:2,3).
I’m not saying, by any means, that what God has called us to do is easy, “but we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
No ifs, ands, or buts about it; Linda Buxa is working at simply letting her yes be yes and her no be no.