Why do they call cuss words four-letter words? I mean, not all cuss words are four-letter words. A lot of them, sure, but not all. Besides a lot of good words in the English language are four-letter words. For example, "good" is a four-letter word, as is "four" and "word." Am I the only one baffled by this terminology?
I guess it doesn't matter right now though because the word I want to discuss is a three-letter word. But be warned! This three-letter word is dangerous. It can wreak havoc in our lives. And unfortunately, it's used too frequently in the nasty now and now. Okay, I'm about to tell you what it is, but before I do, you may want to plug your child's ears (or perhaps the dog's). I don't want to be a bad influence.
Ready? The word is "but." Yep, that's it. It looks innocent enough. Just a common little conjunction. What harm could it possibly do? Read the following examples and see if you can figure it out:
I know smoking is bad for me, but it makes me feel better, at least temporarily.
I know I shouldn't eat this piece of chocolate cake, but I've had a hard day.
I know this isn't the best decision, but I'm just tired of trying to figure it out.
I know God's promises are true, but I don't see Him working in this situation.
I know I have a loving wife at home, but my secretary understands me.
I know I should read my Bible more, but I don't have the time.
Whether the situation is big or small, the word "but" seems to make our excuses permissible. We know what's right, but we still do what's wrong. And for some reason, we act like it's okay because we know better. How messed up is that? It's not better; it's worse. The Bible says so.
It doesn't get any clearer. If we know to do right, and we don't do it, we're sinning against God. No "ifs", "ands", and especially no "buts."
The Lord brought this to my attention a few weeks ago, and I've not been able to shake the lesson. Every time I catch myself using the word "but," I force myself to go back and examine the sentence. More times than not, I've found that I use the word to justify my fleshly desires. Then I have to seek forgiveness and proceed with my day, doing those things I should do and not the things I shouldn't. It's convicting; there's no doubt about it. But at the same time, I feel like a new person. I feel like I have more control over my thoughts and attitudes. Why? Because I'm not excusing them anymore. I'm dealing with them appropriately. It's refreshing.
Yes, we must watch out for those four-letter words, but some of those three-letter varieties will get us in just as much trouble. Remember the old children's song, "Oh be careful, little mouth, what you say"? Might it be time for us to practice what we preach?
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to walk (another four-letter word) my dog. I would say I'm looking forward to it, but. . .well, never mind.
I apologize for not having the audio to today’s post. It seems my head cold has shifted to my chest, and my voice is not cooperating today. Lord willing, it will clear up by tomorrow, and I’ll have audio for you again. Thanks for understanding!