Tuesday, 12 January 2016


Is life about both/and or is it about either/or?  Now that’s an interesting question.  There has no doubt been an enormous cultural shift in our understanding and answering of that question.

Take finances for example. In our grandparents day there was a clear either/or understanding.  EITHER you paid the basic bills OR you indulged in luxuries.  You couldn’t do both.  EITHER you went on holiday OR you changed the car.  You couldn’t do both.  EITHER you spent it today OR you spent it tomorrow.  You couldn’t do both.

Take family as another example.  EITHER you took time with your spouse and your children OR you spent time indulging your own hobbies and selfish interests.  You couldn’t do both.  EITHER you chose to spend sufficient time at home OR too much time at work.  You couldn’t do both.

Take faith.  EITHER you followed Jesus OR you followed the world.  You couldn’t do both.  EITHER you denied yourself and took up your cross OR you walked with the wicked.  You couldn’t do both.  EITHER you confessed Jesus as Lord and sacrificed hedonism OR you put self on the throne and went to hell.  You couldn’t do both.  EITHER you trembled at His word and obeyed it OR you ignored his clear teaching and went your own You couldn’t do both.
Well at least it was clear.  It was always EITHER/OR

But somewhere that changed EITHER/OR has become BOTH/AND.  Many people feel they can ‘have it all’.  In their finances - all the basics AND all the luxuries; all the holidays AND all the cars; spend it today AND spend it again tomorrow.  In their family – BOTH healthy relationships AND an overextended schedule.  In their faith -  BOTH the cross AND the world.  BOTH Jesus as Lord AND me as Lord.  BOTH the Bible AND the world’s philosophies.  BOTH holiness AND selfishness.  BOTH/AND not EITHER/OR.

EITHER/OR has become old-fashioned.  It’s not very popular anymore.  It once used to be the ‘in’ thing but it’s been discarded like the black and white TV or the twin speaker stereo system.  Nobody seems to think about it anymore.  Don’t ask us to choose.  Don’t ask us to make sacrifices.  Surely it is possible to have it all.  Isn’t it possible to have BOTH Christ AND the world?  Cant we BOTH sing on a Sunday AND sin on a Saturday?  Cant we have BOTH spiritual casualness AND sincere commitment?  Cant we have BOTH the blessing of God AND a free choice?  Cant we BOTH go God’s way AND go our own way?  Give us BOTH/AND.  Don’t give us EITHER/OR.

But EITHER/OR is God’s way.  Joshua said “Choose you this day whom you will serve.” (24 v15) EITHER the one true God OR the false gods beyond the river.  You can’t have both

In 2016, if you call yourself a Christian, EITHER you have an EITHER/OR lifestyle OR you can have a BOTH/AND lifestyle.  Think about it.

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