“BUT” doesn’t change the past. It changes the forecast.
Acts 13:30 – But God raised him from the dead.
Read the following statements, and consider which part of each statement is most memorable.
- I love you, but I really don’t care for this meal.
- I appreciate your effort, but you really made a mess.
- I love you, but you’re grounded for a month.
Now read the following statements, and consider which part of each statement is most memorable.
- I really don’t care for this meal, but I love you.
- You really made a mess, but I appreciate your effort.
- You’re grounded for a month, but I love you.
In each case, the part of the statement that is most memorable is the part that comes AFTER the “BUT.” “BUT” becomes a focus word; what one might call the fulcrum of the statement. No matter how weighty the first statement, what follows the “BUT” outweighs it and can therefore lift it out of the way. It is imperative for a leader that he/she know which statement to make the weighty, more powerful one that follows the “BUT.”
It is important in relationship at every level; family, church, professional, and social. Imagine saying to an employee, “You’ve been with me for five years, but there’s a problem with your performance.” The last seed you planted is a “problem seed.” That become the focus; not the five years of service, not your appreciation of their service, and the past excellence; and especially not that the focus will be US working on the problem. Now imagine saying this to an employee; “There’s a problem with your performance, but you’ve been with me for five years.” Now where is the focus. Now the focus in on tenure, faithfulness, and relationship; and that focus points toward US working on the problem together because I don’t want to lose you.
I refer you once again to our Text for Today. All that Jesus did for us is certainly memorable. We need to know it in our heart, believe it, stand firmly upon it, and hold fast to it. For if all that had not happened, then there would have been no resurrection. BUT it DID happen, and because of that, there most assuredly was a resurrection. Yes, Jesus suffered, BUT He conquered. Yes, Jesus died, BUT He arose from the dead. Yes, we were unworthy, BUT Jesus became my redemption, making me worthy. It fits into your life just as it does mine, though there are surely places where your preliminary statement may differ from mind, BUT Jesus made all the difference. We sinned, BUT He did not. We failed, BUT He did not. We stumbled, BUT He did not. We were weak, BUT He is strong. We were sick, BUT He healed us. We were bound, BUT He delivered us. We were lost, BUT He found us. Thank God for the “BUT!”
Manna for Today – Acts 13:13-52; John 3:16-17; Galatians 3; Romans 10:6-17