If you love me, obey my commandments. John 14:15 NLT
“Because I said so.”
Of everything I used to detest hearing my parents say, this phrase tops the list. I typically heard it if I continually questioned something they told me to do. Whatever the thing was—usually a rule—didn’t make sense to me, so I wanted to know the reasoning behind the rule or request. Sometimes, they would give me a reason, which I would question again. Finally, after a couple of rounds of me asking why, the saying would slip from their mouths.
In my mind, this statement meant I had won the argument. My parents couldn’t come up with a logical reason because there wasn’t one. They just wanted me to do something because they wanted me to do it.
As usual with children when they grow up and become parents, I later found myself using this statement with my kids. I now admit the thing I wanted them to do that they protested was occasionally illogical. At other times, I refused to debate with them because they were too young to understand the reasoning behind what I requested. I suppose that was the case with my dad as well.
Later, I found myself using the statement with the middle schoolers I taught. Having kids question certain school, class, or assignment rules in middle school is expected. I may answer their first “why”—and perhaps the second—but after that, I find myself saying, “Because I said so.”
Honestly, I have also questioned some of God’s commands and principles. In my mind, I’ve asked the why behind some commands. But, of course, I get no verbal answer from Him. I can, however, consult commentaries, spiritual books on the topic, or mature Christian friends. Yet in the end—whether I understand or not—God wants my obedience because this proves my love.
As children become adults, they learn some things they must accept whether they understand them. The same holds with God’s commands. Of course, we won’t understand all of them on this side of heaven. But we can be sure God issued them out of love. He had a reason, whether we understood or not.
God will always do right by us. After all, He loved us enough to send His only Son to pay our sin debt and release us from condemnation.
My parents were worthy of my trust—so were my teachers. I am also worthy of my children's and students’ trust. Because of that, I obeyed even when I didn’t understand. My children did the same, and so did my students. I can do no less with God. He is the most trustworthy person in existence.
Let “Just because I said so” be enough when you don't understand God.
Prayer: Father, help us obey whether we understand or not.
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