The other day, as my wife and I were saying our “goodbyes” to some friends in Yakima, not knowing when we were going to see them again, I was engaged in trying to encourage my friend to think about where he was currently in his life’s journey; specifically in regards to his future, his relationship with Jesus and his eternal destination.  He said to me, “Brian, thank you though, I do believe in Jesus, BUT my main focus right now is trying to be happy.   And the odd thing is, no matter how hard I try and what I do, I just can’t seem to be as happy as I want to be.” Dang! It’s the big BUT syndrome again! I’ve been there, I’ve seen many others there and unfortunately, my friend has found himself there as well.   I had a schoolteacher in grade school that used to tell me, “Brian, every time you start to say but in a sentence, you just cancelled out everything you said before the but.”  Often times, this is so true… You are such a hard worker, but… You are so beautiful, but… You are so smart, but… You have a great personality, but…  Isn’t it just crazy how often our BUTS get in the way of what we are really trying to accomplish or say?  What a different perspective would it would have been if my friend had said instead, “My main focus right now is trying to be happy.  The odd thing is, no matter how hard I try and what I do, I just can’t seem to be as happy as I want to be but, I believe in Jesus…” Doesn’t that just put the whole context in a different light? Switching what’s in front of the but could have made all the different in the world.  If what my grade school teacher said is true, and everything in front of the but is cancelled out, then all that would have been left of my friend’s response is… “I believe in Jesus…” And shouldn’t that be enough?

There have been many times in my own life when I’ve let my but get in the way. Like my friend, I start my conversations with truth, then quickly slip into the doubts, fears and uncertainties.  Sound familiar? Forgetting that it is the truth alone that sets us free, we smother out the truth by burying it in all our “junk”. We can’t afford to continue down this path.  It’s very destructive to what God wants to do in us and through us.  It’s strips away God’s power in our lives. So, will we choose to keep our hearts full of the truth of God’s Word or allow our hearts to be buried in the lies of the enemy and the doubts, fears and uncertainties that life can bring?  Make the choice today to no longer let your but get in the way of God showing His power in and through your life. “out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” – Luke 6:45.   Jesus, may you always have the last word in all we say and do – amen!

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