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.


"Poverty Mindset" Is Sermon Topic Sunday At Metropolitan Tabernacle Church

Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Gary Hathaway To Be In Boxing Match On Saturday

Annual Lutheran Advent Choral Festival Will Be Dec. 2


Metro Tab Church, 2101 West Shepherd Road in Chattanooga, invites the public to join them this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Senior Pastor Dr. Steve Ball will preach from his book "Secrets Of A Giant ... (click for more)

Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church's Pastor Gary Hathaway will be in a boxing match against Jay Bell on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The match will take place at the Red Bank Boxing Gym, 640 ... (click for more)

The 37th Annual Lutheran Advent Choral Festival will be held on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 822 Belvoir Ave. Savior of the Nations Come is a hymn festival by ... (click for more)


Church

"Poverty Mindset" Is Sermon Topic Sunday At Metropolitan Tabernacle Church

Metro Tab Church, 2101 West Shepherd Road in Chattanooga, invites the public to join them this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Senior Pastor Dr. Steve Ball will preach from his book "Secrets Of A Giant Killer" on the subject of "Poverty Mindset." Music ministry will be led by Rob Alley and Metro Praise. "Children's Pastor Olivia Aziz and the Metro Kidz staff would love to host your kids ... (click for more)

Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Gary Hathaway To Be In Boxing Match On Saturday

Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church's Pastor Gary Hathaway will be in a boxing match against Jay Bell on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The match will take place at the Red Bank Boxing Gym, 640 Morrison Springs Road. Cost for the match is $7, which includes a hot dog and drink. (click for more)

Breaking News

Truck Driver Charged In Death Of Another Truck Driver In Head-On Crash Near Trenton

A tractor-trailer driver from Pennsylvania was charged on Friday in the death of another truck driver. The Dade County Sheriff's Office said Gustavo Rodriguez-Pagan was driving on Interstate 59 near Trenton when a head-on crash occurred. His vehicle crossed the median and struck another tractor-trailer. Authorities said they found Rodriguez-Pagan walking ... (click for more)

Girl Injured In 5-Vehicle Crash On I-24 Near Wildwood Exit

A young girl was critically injured in a five-car crash on I-24 in Dade County on Saturday. The accident was near Exit 169 at Wildwood. Authorities said a roll-back tow truck that was hauling two vehicles struck a van with a family inside. The van then struck three other vehicles. The wreck happened just before noon. The girl was found unresponsive in the van. (click for more)

Opinion

HES Can't Be Matched, Replicated Or Cheaply Duplicated

As a volunteer at the Humane Educational Society for four years, I have first-hand knowledge of the work this organization does and the conditions it has to overcome to do it. The 118-year-old facility in which the administration, staff and volunteers work every day is at the end of its road. A new shelter space is more than warranted. The good news is that there are county funds ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The 2018 Turkey Edition

We are less than a week away from Thanksgiving so today we are going to take a tiny turn away from regular Saturday Funnies to give way to our 2018 Turkey Edition Special. The idea is for this year’s Turkey edition to help you be the first invited for “seconds” in honor and recognition of your marvelous wit. Actually, this setup is remarkably easy. Early next week you next begin ... (click for more)