Some buts we hardly notice. Some are the size of an 800-pound gorilla. Others remain the same size no matter what we do. Some buts change from time to time. Many of our buts never go away.
In his book, The Rest of the Gospel, author Dan Stone writes a chapter called, “The Holy But”. Stone writes that the Holy But originated in the Garden of Gasthemene, “Going a little farther, he (Jesus) fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, ΒUT as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)
How about you? How big is the but you live behind? Here’s some statements from some folks living behind their buts:
- I sure do like our minister, but his sermons are too long.
- I’d like to volunteer in the nursery, but Sunday’s my only day off.
- My neighbor wants to start going to church, but I’m afraid to talk to him about Jesus.
- We’d like to tithe, but we barely make enough money to pay the bills.
For the folks who don’t know their true identity in Christ, some of them live behind buts like these:
- I know Jesus loves me, but you don’t know what I’ve done.
- The Bible says I’m a new creation, but I don’t feel like one.
- The Bible says Jesus freed me from sin, but I still sin sometimes.
- I believe in Jesus, but I don’t have to go to church to prove it.
- I know I need to forgive my sister, but I just can’t.
The prophet Habakkuk lived behind his own but in his Old Testament book:
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet (but) I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17-18).
Just because we know the truth and live from the truth doesn’t mean the external situation is going to change. But we are changed! The holy but moves us from the circumstance to the solution, and that solution is a Person.
Isn’t it time we started living the lives God intended, as totally loved, totally accepted, children of the eternal God? Let’s start putting our circumstances before our “buts” and our faith (and God’s truth about us) behind them.