“I’D LOVE TO, BUT. . .”
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
In these latter times, it is amazing to learn different ways that some folk happily blame others for their poor spiritual condition, and otherwise play the perennial excuses over and over. A little story illustrates this point.
Once there was a fellow who had no use for Christians or church. He would drag out his lawnmower every Sunday morning and mow his large yard. His wife used him for her excuse. She would sit on the front porch and repeat, “Boy, if it were not for you, I could really be a great Christian.”
The church folks down the road became really burdened about this man and his wife. They began to pray for their salvation, and service in the church. They witnessed to the man in a wise manner for several months. The lady did not feel threatened in the matter because she knew her husband. But, a real friendship developed between the man and the church folks. So, one Sunday morning instead of dragging out the lawnmower, he dragged out his wife and said today we are going to church. Well, of course, his wife could not object because she had always said, “ Boy, if it were not for you, I could really be a great Christian.”
After hearing a powerful sermon, the man went down the aisle, prayed to God for his salvation, and requested baptism and church membership. What a glorious thing! Wait! Now, what would his wife do? Well, she felt compelled to follow her husband, even though she was in astonishment. So, she joined the church with him.
Now the folks in the pews could hardly wait to warmly greet the new members. The ladies hugged the dear woman and invited her to sing in the choir with them. She said, “I would love to, but. . .” Some others came up to her and invited her to enjoy the fellowship of the Ladies’ Auxiliary. She said, “I would love to, but . . .” It was then that another who knew her talents said, “Oh, you would fit in so well with the girls class! Would you be interested?” She replied, “I would love to, but. . .” And, from that moment on, that was her line, “I would love to, but . . .”
There are men, women, young people with talent that could be such a blessing to the Lord’s work right in their own neighborhood church. Too often when asked to use their talents or to fill a needful position folks will instead be jealous of their time or look with low esteem on serving in their church. They then repeat the lines of the excuse-driven lady above, “I really would love to but. . .” Could it be that one day in the presence of Jesus, confronted with their shortcomings, and desirous of reward, that they will hear Jesus say, “I would love to accommodate you, but . . .” Think about it!