“I have the right to do anything, you say—but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”- 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
For all the parents out there, you know the immense effort and constant reminders to have your children display good manners. We give multiple prompts to look people in the eye, to not interrupt when others are speaking, and to say “please” and “thank you”. And we have all had the utter befuddlement and embarrassment when they do the exact opposite.
One of the polite phrases the Holy Spirit has called me to put into practice is to start by saying, “Yes. Please” to all that is unfolding and unsettling in this season. When we say YES, we are declaring that there is a desire we would love to see come to pass. While, PLEASE suggests that there is a surrender and submission to the one who can give us what we are asking for. Psalm 37:4 tells us, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” By bringing these two words together there allows for a both a BOLDNESS and HUMBLENESS in our seeking. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need.”
In the scripture used to begin this article, the Apostle Paul reminds the people of God that just because they can do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best thing for you or that it will bless others. I believe Paul is using the “Yes. Please” model, rather than the loud, ugly, and selfish alternatives, “Yes. That’s Mine!”; “Yes. I want it now!”; “Yes. Wahhhh.” (That is my version of throwing a tantrum). Some examples:
Just because a person turns eighteen, doesn’t mean they should get married immediately.
Just because a company offers you a job position and great salary, doesn’t mean you should automatically accept it.
Just because you can post your feelings, opinions, and rebuttals on social media, doesn’t mean that is the best look or use of your time/energy.
Just because the church can return to regathering (effective May 25, 2020), doesn’t mean we have to rush to get in the building by this (Pentecost) Sunday.
As our church’s leadership has journeyed and navigated this season, we have the benefit of safety that comes from a multitude of counselors. We are seeking to honor the recommendations of our county and state and learn from the experience of other pastors and congregations who are going before us in this regathering process. We are seeking to take the steps that are wise, right, and best for everyone. Be assured we are making plans and deeply long for our regathering. Thank you for continuing to pray for us. Proverbs 19:2 tells us, “Desire without knowledge is not good—how much more will hasty feet miss the way.”
In the midst of our desire, passion, faith positions, and good intentions, let’s not rush to get things our way (YES), without surrendering to and trusting in God (PLEASE) for what He desires from us and what will be best for us!