Yes, but…

silouetter of person with question mark over head
Image credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcobellucci/3534516458/">Marco Bellucci</a>

Luke 10:25-29

A lawyer rose up to trifle with Jesus, saying, “Professor, what do I need to do to live forever?”

Jesus answered, “You’re a hot-shot lawyer, you tell me.”

The lawyer said, “You must love God with your whole heart. You must serve God by everything you are. You must work for God with all your might. You must direct all your thoughts to God. And you must love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus said, “That’s the right answer. If you do what you said, you’ll live.”

But the lawyer wanted to save face, so he said, “Yeah, but who is my neighbor?”

It would have been just as ridiculous a question if the lawyer had asked, “Yeah, but who is God?”

Most of the questions we ponder – the big questions – are questions for which we already know the answer. The lawyer knew the answer to his question about eternal life before he asked it. He knows the answer to his follow-up question, too. He knows who his neighbor is. He doesn’t need Jesus, or anyone else, to tell him.

Knowing the answer isn’t the problem. The problem, as Jesus points out in response to the lawyer’s answering his own question, is doing what we know. “You have the answer. Now do it.”

Rather than do it, though, the lawyer (who could be any of us) hides behind yet another question to which he already knows the answer.

What if 90% of meetings are just excuses to hide behind the need for more information, when what is really called for is action?

What if 90% of our “yes, buts” are our telling ourselves that we need more information before we can do what we really know we need to do?

Do It Now

dates receeding to horizon
Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbh/1252247669/">Stephen Heron</a>

Matthew 12:38-41

Some legalists and bureaucrats said, “Professor, we want you to give us a sign.”

Jesus answered, “This evil, treasonous generation wants a sign. But the only sign they’ll get is Jonah. Jonah was in the kraken’s stomach for three days and nights. Likewise, the chosen one will be buried in the ground for three days and nights. The heathens who believed Jonah will condemn this generation. They changed their ways but you’ve ignored an even more obvious indication.

Remember, Jonah is about deliverance. The insistence on needing a miracle, or some sign, that the time is right before taking action is where, most of the time, people go wrong. Jesus (and Jonah) are about deliverance. Now.

  • “If only (fill in the blank) would happen, then I’d be able to do that thing I’ve always wanted to do.”
  • “If only he/she would change, then I’d be happy.”
  • “If only my boss would recognize my efforts, I’d get that promotion.”
  • “If only I could move to New York city, I’d catch my big break.”
  • “If only Jesus would come back and save me from (fill in whatever hardship you’ve got).”

They say timing is everything. But it’s not. How many times have you looked back (hindsight is 20/20) and said, “I could have…” or “I should have…” But you didn’t. Why? What were you waiting for? The signs were there. You just couldn’t read them. Or, if you did, you second-guessed yourself and didn’t do anything about it. Timing, as it turns out, is nothing. Signs are nothing.

Action is everything.

The time to change is now. Always now. It’s not what happens. Stuff happens all the time. It’s what you do. Not someday. Now.