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.



Brainerd Presbyterian Church Hires Youth Ministries Director

Brainerd Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Presbyterian Church announces Henry Paris has accepted the opportunity to serve as BPC's full-time Youth Ministry director.  "His ?rst o?cial day is Aug. 1 and he has already begun to engage in activities with our youth group," officials said. Mr. Paris graduated from Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, in May 2018.  He ... (click for more)

Saint Paul A.M.E. Church Celebrates Its 129th Anniversary

St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 2514 Williams St. in Chattanooga, invites you to worship with them on the occasion of their 129th church anniversary.  The theme for this year's celebration is "On Christ the Solid Rock We Stand." The anniversary celebration begins on Saturday, July 28 with a musical event and culminates with Rev. Dan Scott of Baylor School, Chattanooga, speaking ... (click for more)

State Democrats Refile Suit In Hamilton County Seeking To Keep Robin Smith Off The Ballot

The Tennessee Democratic Party has refiled a lawsuit seeking to keep former state GOP Chairman Robin Smith off the ballot in the Aug. 2 primary ballot. Ms. Smith was the only candidate after Rep. Gerald McCormick surprisingly dropped out at a late hour of the House District 26 race. The lawsuit was initially filed in Davidson County, but was dismissed there. It has been refiled ... (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Fire On Workman Road Tuesday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 6:03 a.m. on Tuesday, to a commercial fire at 400 Workman Road. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were shooting through the roof and the request was immediately made for a second alarm response. The flames could be seen for miles as a total of 13 fire companies rushed to the scene. The large, two-story ... (click for more)

Am I Alone? - And Response

 Am I alone seems to be quite apt as I begin to form sentences, thoughts and concerns regarding the state of this country. I feel like I am alone trying, somehow, to justify Trump and understand why he is constantly in the middle of chaos.  Now coined as the Liar-in-Chief, Chief Foreign Affairs Coordinator acting for his pal Russian Dictator, Putin.  The silence ... (click for more)

Six Things We Can Do About Mass Shootings - And Response (3)

All politics aside, the recent shooting in Florida, and every other shooting in a public place, is a senseless and, possibly, preventable tragedy. It is absurd that we can’t gather in a free society without the fear of some nut job or terrorist using us as targets.   And then the cries of “do something!” from every quarter. But, other than the obvious attempt by agenda-pushers ... (click for more)