What if. What + If = Change. “What If”can precede a positive statement. But, I think most of the time we use those two little words in a negative way.
What if my hair doesn’t look right?
What if my son is in a car accident on the way home?
What if I can’t fit into the dress I bought for the wedding?
What if I run out of money before my next pay check?
What if I lose my job?
“What If” marches ahead of everything we do. It either motivates us to move forward or it paralyzes us with fear. The more we use those two little words together in a negative way the larger they become until they start to look like Goliath. Instead of being small enough to instantly brush aside, they grow until they block the road ahead of us and we can’t move past them. And there we sit, stuck in traffic because “What If” has us paralyzed with fear.
“What” asks questions. “If” throws doubt on a situation. God has the answers. What if we didn’t question God’s answers? What if we started believing His truths….really believing them and acting on them?
The rich young ruler, in Matthew 19:16-26, asked Jesus what he must do to obtain eternal life. He had plenty of money and he had followed all the rules as set out by his culture. Despite outward appearances he felt something was missing on the inside. But when Jesus told him he needed to sell his belongings and give the money to the poor he must have run through a few “What If’s”. What if he sold everything he had and gave it to the poor? His friends, neighbors and relatives would think he was crazy. What if they thought he was crazy? He would be ostracized from them, looked down upon. He couldn’t do that….be looked down upon. The fear paralyzed him from moving into a new life with Jesus. The fear paralyzed him from receiving the true happiness that only God can give to fill up the empty space in our hearts. “What If” caused a traffic jam in his life and stopped him from moving forward. He had received the truth, but he didn’t allow it to change him. “What If” caused a traffic jam and stopped him from moving the truth from his head to his heart. It is only when the truth lives in our heart that it can change us.
When a truth lives in our heads we talk about the truth, but we don’t live it out in our lives. The truth only changes us when it moves into our hearts. Truth is a paradox, it always remains the same, but it changes who we are when we decide to live it and not just mentally assent to it. We are coming up to a new year. I challenge you to move a few of the truths who live in your head into the upgraded facility of your heart and see how it changes your new year.