Archive for the ‘Skepticism’ Category

My parents were not religious people in the least, but there were certain odd rules they enforced religiously. Not surprisingly, cussing meant a swift trip to the execution chamber –that is to say, the bed chamber where my step-father would swiftly execute punishment. I doubt anyone would blame him for trying to teach his children impeccable manners, he was an ex-marine after all, but he was a bit over-the-top, as evidenced by his intolerance of even the slightest hint of slang.

Moreover, excessive no doubt, was his royal decree that no one in the house under five-feet tall was ever allowed to say the word but, and certainly not that loathsome four-letter word c-a-n’-t. A simple “Yeah, but …” was reason enough for a two-hour lecture at best, saying both but and can’t in the same sentence was a felony. That I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, would have been a handy thing to know back then (Phil 4:1).

In retrospect, I can’t help but see the irony in that (shhh, don’t tell him I just used both of those words in this sentence) given the defeatist attitude he adopted after signing-up for one of those multi-level home marketing businesses. If he made money his sponsor pulled in some cash as well, and so on, so naturally,  those above him in the enterprise tried very hard to teach him the techniques that were sure to bring about success, words that fell on deaf ears, skepticism and, you guessed it, a never-ending list of objections starting with the declaration, “Yeah, but….”

With puzzling contradiction, he uttered the words “Yeah, but…” so often, his business sponsor, making a guilted statement, gifted him with a brightly colored tee-shirt with those very words imprinted on the front, words that he took pride in, wearing them as a badge of honor.

Such an inconsistency brings to my mind James 1:5-7: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

Dear reader, I would very much like to offer you a profound explanation as to why our Heavenly Father is so emphatic about this matter, but I’m not even sure that I  have an answer to suffice. I am absolutely positive about this, though: faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). We should all, therefore, when we sense those God-displeasing words, “Yeah but…” begin their journey from brain to tongue to express doubt or defiance, rather turn to the Word of God, the Holy Bible, and strengthen our faith within its pages.

I don’t know about you, but I know enough pessimistic naysayers to order some of those “Yeah, but” tee shirts in bulk and hand them out, thereby warning the optimistic to take cover. Problem is, there are days when I don the declaration myself, knowing full well that with God all things are possible, yet somehow doubting, wavering.

Perhaps you have, at one time or another, felt the same way. May I remind you– and me- that there are more than forty Scriptures in the Bible which counter frailty and defeat with two simple words: BUT GOD!

Perhaps I should have some tee shirts printed after all, the message being modified to three powerful words, “Yeah, but GOD!”

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