Bob Tamasy: One Of Life's Biggest Words - "If"

Monday, June 25, 2018 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Have you ever considered how big the little word “if” is? Consider a few simple examples:

“We will go on a picnic tomorrow if it doesn’t rain.”

“If the Tigers beat the Bears, they go to the championship game.”

“We’ll buy that new car if I get that raise.”

But there are even bigger “ifs” that have had far greater influence in the course of humanity, such as:

What if the colonists had lost heart and given up their fight for freedom from England?

What if Jonas Salk hadn’t discovered a cure for polio?

What if the Allied forces had not prevailed on D-Day?

What if people had accepted the opinion of Ken Olsen, a technology pioneer, who declared, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home”?

Sometimes we can get in trouble by dwelling on the “what ifs” of life, but even the Bible seems to put a high premium on “if,” although it approaches the term in a somewhat different way.

Proverbs 2:1-5, for example, presents a classic “if-then” scenario:

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

This says it’s conditional – if we do what’s instructed, to sincerely and earnestly pursue wisdom and understanding, then we will gain a deeper, more profound, life-changing understanding of God. Looking at it from the opposite perspective, if we don’t engage in this pursuit, then we can’t expect to experience God in any meaningful way.

These “if-then” conditions God sets forth aren’t found only in Proverbs. They appear also in Philippians 2:1-3, where the apostle Paul wrote:

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one spirit and purpose.”

I particularly like this passage, because it’s framed almost in a sarcastic way. It’s like Paul chiding the believers in the ancient city of Philippi, “You do have encouragement from being united with Jesus, right? You do find comfort from His love, right? You do have fellowship with God through His Spirit, right? You do experience His tenderness and compassion, right? Well, if that’s the case, then avoid divisiveness. Be like-minded, share the same love from God and for one another, be united in spirit and purpose!”

An amazing admonition, and it all hinges on one little word: If.

In a sense, the word “if” defines one’s faith in Christ. If the Scriptures aren’t true, if – as skeptics are some fond of saying – that it’s all fantasy, fiction, fable, then nothing really matters. We’re fated to live in a meaningless, purposeless, directionless world. However, if what the Scriptures say is true, that trusting our lives to Jesus Christ is indeed Good News, that makes all the difference in the world!

So the question we all must address, along with the answer we provide, is very simple: What if? How we respond can’t help but shape our lives, the here and now, along with our eternal destiny, in the hereafter. 

- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.



"Get It Back" Is Sermon Topic At Metro Tab Church On Sunday

The public is invited to worship at Metro Tab Church on Sunday, at  10:30 a.m .   The message preached by Dr. Steve Ball, senior pastor will be "Get It Back". You will be blessed by the music ministry lead by Rob Alley and Metro Praise. The children's ministry is called Metro Kidz and the staff would love to host your kids as well.   Metro Tab Church ... (click for more)

Bob Tamasy: ’Hiding The Word’ In Your Heart

Do you know your home address? How about your phone number? What about your Social Security number? If you’re a football fan, do you know the star players on your favorite team? Can you recite the Pledge of Allegiance, or sing the words to the Star-Spangled Banner? I ask those questions because I’ve often heard people say, “Oh, I can’t memorize.” That’s the excuse they use for ... (click for more)

Karen Saxton, 64, Killed In Crash On Highway 58 Saturday Afternoon

One person was killed in a crash on Highway 58 on Saturday afternoon. The victim was identified as Karen Saxton, 64. Chattanooga Police responded at 5:15 p.m. to the wreck in the 5900 block of Highway 58.  Upon arrival officers located a vehicle driven by 21-year-old Allen Dickerson in the northbound lane and the Saxton vehicle in the southbound lane. Police said ... (click for more)

Juvenile Shot On East 14th Street On Friday

A juvenile was shot Friday evening on East 14th Street. The Chattanooga Police Department responded at 6:45 p.m. to a person shot in the 2000 block of East 14th Street. Upon arrival, officers located a male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Hamilton County EMS responded to the scene and transported the victim to a local hospital. Members of the Violent ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (4)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s So Sad For Me

I cannot remember a time in my life when I have been as saddened by such a travesty that has now erupted in the confirmation process that would place Brett Kavanaugh on our Supreme Court. I am sad for every single person who has been touched by this catastrophe, from 85-year-old Dianne Feinstein to Brett’s wife and two young daughters, ages 13 and 10. Not a person, in any way involved, ... (click for more)