I probably shouldn’t, but…
March 13, 2014
Have you ever heard someone say this? Maybe you’ve said it yourself. It’s an all around statement that could be used with regard to every aspect of life: what we eat, what we do, who we hang out with, where we go, what we say, what we spend, even what we think.
I probably shouldn’t, but…is self justification, plain and simple. We actually know better, and we know that we know better. But we want to do whatever it is anyway, because we imagine the pleasure – however brief it may be – will outweigh the consequences, the pain. Usually the pain wins.
Of course, this is nothing new. It has been an aspect of human nature since the beginning: think Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit. (see Genesis 2 and 3) The Apostle Paul explains it, “the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” But Paul has a solution! “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me…? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:19,24,25)
Jesus told his followers, “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Or to put it another way: whatever you thought you needed and however you thought you’d get it, doesn’t even begin to measure up to how God is going to give it to you. If you go to Him first – worship Him, love Him, trust Him – He will pour out to you all that you need that is exactly right and without pain. Yes, even without pain.
We really don’t need to be afraid that we will be deprived of some good thing and need to take matters into our own hands. Good is the natural expression of God and is as ever-present as He is. (Gen 1:31) The Bible says that Jesus went about doing good. (Acts 10:38) And he taught his disciples to do and see and be good. (Matt 5:16) And he expected his followers – you and me – to continue in that pathway of doing, seeing, and being good. (John 17:20)
In fact, he prophesied that “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.” (John 14:12) That certainly is a different pathway than self justification!
In his letter to the Romans, Paul explains how to do this: “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (12:2)
So, no more “I probably shouldn’t, but…” Instead, consider these words of Mary Baker Eddy: “As vapor melts before the sun, so evil would vanish before the reality of good. One must hide the other. How important, then, to choose good as the reality!” (Science and Health p. 480)
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.