Why is it that whenever someone begins a sentence “I don’t like to…”, it always ends with them doing what they previously stated they didn’t like to do? Maybe some people just consistently live in a bubble of opposites. Don’t means Do, Yes means No, Hello means Goodbye and so forth. I’m not sure that this would excuse their behavior, but at least it would give me some way to make sense of it.
I mention this because I went to the store awhile back and must have heard some form of this phrase three times in one visit. I believe they were: (1) “I don’t like to judge…”, (2) “I don’t like to gossip..”, (3) “I don’t like to talk behind someone’s back…”,or something pretty close to those. Now if this phrase was followed by “So I won’t”, then all would be right with the world. Unfortunately, this phrase is often followed by “but” as in “However, right now I’m all about gossip, so here goes nothing!” When I hear this phrase my automatic reaction is to say “Then stop talking and you won’t be!” Well, to be honest, I guess I should clarify by “automatic reaction” I mean “inner monologue”. My reaction is typically to just stand there and listen to what is said.
“But” is a simple little conjunction with a lot of power. Look at me sharing my grammar knowledge, noting my knowledge of “but” as a conjunction. In all honesty I had to Google that. Sadly my writing “skill” makes my level of grammatical knowledge pretty clear… “But” is one of those words that can change a conversation in a split second.
An apology becomes an accusation: “I’m sorry I forgot our anniversary BUT, let’s be honest, you’ve forgot a lot of things over the years.”
Bad news becomes good news: “I don’t feel like playing a board game tonight, BUT I know it’s important to you so how about just one game?”
So many people wield the power of “but” without thinking twice. It’s as if “but” has become a catch-all, as to say “I’m not a bad person, the following is a one time thing.”
“But” is often used to show how inconsistent and two-sided we really are as people.
I read somewhere that we are to let our yes be our yes and our no be our no. Where was that? Oh yeah, that was the Bible, Matthew 5:37 to be exact. This is a segment of scripture in which Jesus is talking about oaths. He essentially challenges His listeners not to make oaths but simply to be a person who remains consistent.
Matthew 5:36-37 “36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
By consistent I mean for each of us to be the person that says “I don’t like to____”, and by our actions prove we don’t like to do it. Just say no. If you do like to do it at least claim it, don’t insult the intelligence of those listening to or watching you do what you just said you don’t like to do.
I challenge you to listen to yourself for the next week. Are your words consistent with your actions? Are you letting your yes be your yes and your no your no, or is there a “but” at the end of all your sentences?
The Bible does not say “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself…. BUT if they’re jerks you’re excused from the previous statement.” There is no “but” at the end of this commandment commonly referred to as The Greatest Commandment. There are also no “buts” at the end of the commandments to live lives of love, integrity, honesty, compassion and joy. We are called to live out our salvation with consistency. Are you doing that or are you living out your salvation with a “but”? It’s only too late when you’re dead so make a change and start living a consistent life right now.
Repost from: http://www.brycecooley.com