Because I said so

Posted: May 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

I just returned from a 10 day visit with my son Tom and his family. He is stationed in Charleston, South Carolina and lives on the Air Force base. We stayed with him on base and soon learned there were many rules to abide by in order to remain on base.

Many of these rules, to me, seemed ridiculous and I mentioned this to my son. Whenever I shared with him my thoughts on one of these “stupid” rules, my son would explain the reason behind the rule and its necessity.

Once he made me aware of the need, the rules made perfect sense. In fact, I could not imagine not having these rules in place.

What changed?

With clarification, came understanding and acceptance as well as willful obedience. Knowing why a rule was needed changed everything.

Because I said so

    I thought of when I was younger and I would ask my mom if I could do something and she would say “No.”

I would follow up with “Why?”

And she would shoot right back, “Because I said so.”

“Mommy can I run across the street to get some.….”

“No!”

“Why?”

“Because I said so.”

“But why?”

“Because I said so, that’s why.”

What my mother was really saying was, “I don’t want you running across the street because you might get run over.” But because she did not elaborate beyond, “Because I said so,” I did not understand why she said no and this caused me to sneak around behind her back. I learned to cross without asking and several times I came close to getting hit.

If I would have had the information she possessed, I would not have crossed the street. I could not understand her reasons for saying no so I did what I wanted to do. I thought her answer was ridiculous just like I thought the Air Force rules were ridiculous, at least until I was made aware of their necessity.

Now that I have children, I make sure I tell them why I don’t want them to do something and the potential consequences if they choose to do it anyway. Simply saying “no” was not a deterrent to keep me from crossing the street.

Two possible directions

    I could go in one of two directions with this devotional. I could tell you how this reminds me of all the “rules” in the Bible and how some of them don’t seem to make sense but that we should obey because God said so.

I could explain the reason they don’t make sense is because of our limited knowledge of their necessity but that God has this knowledge and what He’s really saying is, “Don’t do this because I love you and I don’t want you to suffer the consequences.”

But I won’t go there.

I will go here

    The second direction I could and will go is this:

If and when you tell your friends about their need for a Savior, their need for Jesus, do you simply tell them they should surrender to Jesus because you said so? They should obey the 10 Commandments because God said so. Do you quote Jeremiah 29:11? Do you tell them God has a plan for them, plans to prosper them and all that feel good, “accept Jesus and your life will be perfect” baloney?

People who accept Jesus for a perfect life quickly find out that’s not true and they fall away. When trouble and persecution arises, they turn from God and slink back to their old lives.

Trying to get people saved when they don’t even know they are lost is like this:

Imagine you saw a teenage guy swimming in his backyard pool. He’s having a great time. Then you rush into his yard screaming, “I’ll save you!” You rip off your shirt and dive in. You quickly reach him and grab him. You assure him everything will be alright, you are here to save him. You then proceed to drag him, against his will, out of the pool.

He is angry and fights you the whole way. Why? Because he was not drowning. He did not need to be saved.

However if the scenario were different and you happened upon the same young man and he was splashing about screaming for help and you jumped in to save him, he would welcome you. He would not resist your attempts to save him. He would be grateful.

He would thank you. His friends and family would thank you.

Start with the need

    Your friends don’t know they are “drowning” in sin. They don’t understand their need for a Savior. Until they know they are doomed to hell without Christ, they won’t see the need for this Jesus dude. They will just view him as a hinderance to their fun, nothing more.

You need to explain their current eternal destination and why they are headed there. You need to do what my son did with me when he explained the necessity of the rules. You need to explain the necessity of a Savior.

Start with these verses:

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.” (Romans 3:23-24)

“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Go down the list of the 10 Commandments with them. Ask them if they’ve ever broken one. Ask them if they stood before God, would they be guilty?

You must make your friends aware of their need for Jesus. They need to know they are sinners in need of salvation. With knowledge, comes understanding. Enlightenment can guide them to real repentance.

Let your friends know they are drowning

Then throw them the life preserver

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