Applying the ‘holy but’

Ever listened to the way we speak? Ever thought about our conversations and how we phrase things? Have you ever considered what would happen if we turned some of our sentences around?

“I really like Sam. She’s such a giving person and friendly, but…” And then we hear what we really think about her: “But she’s a bit too bossy”, or “But the way she dresses…” (eye roll), or “But I wish she could keep time!  She’s always keeping me waiting.”

The point is that we live after the ‘but’. It’s the second half of the sentence that is most important, and it’s that part that we keep in our mind. So, the message about Sam is not that she’s friendly and giving… that part gets lost. Sam is bossy, doesn’t present well, or is unreliable.
“She’s a bit too bossy, but I really like her. She’s such a giving and friendly person…” See what happens when we place the positive after the ‘but’? See how we could so easily put into practise the Scriptural norm of building up our neighbour?

However, there is more to it. It’s called the ‘Holy But’ and is a direct result of Easter. This week we remember who we have become and rejoice in the truth that Christ has died for us, that He lives in us, and that we live by faith in His love (Gal 2:20). So let’s apply the ‘holy but’.

I know that God loves me, but life at home is bad. It’s all falling apart. All my parents do is yell at each other…”
“I know that God cares for me, but I’m suffering so much, and no one seems to understand…”  Most of us can put something here. The problem is that it is in our nature to put the emphasis on the second part of the sentence. So, instead of working with the full picture, we tend to focus on the latter.

Applying the ‘holy but’ really flicks the emphasis around! It acknowledges the situation, and then places it in context: “My life at home is bad. It’s all falling apart. All my parents do is yell at each other, but I know God loves me”
“I’m suffering so much, and no one seems to understand, but I know God cares for me.”

Enjoy your Easter!
With Christian Greetings,
M Plug, Principal