Wednesday, May 23, 2012

But-Free Living

But-free living isn't a diet plan, though it is a before and after story. In my life, I am always waiting for the "but." You know, "Kelly, you did a great job, BUT ...." I am a master at deflecting the positive comments, and living in the critique. (I just couldn't say living in the "but, " however you get the idea.)

Saturday I had the opportunity to speak at a church with an amazing pastor. Pastor Jeff is gifted in encouragement, among other gifts. He wrote an ad in the local paper inviting people to hear me speak at his church. I felt like the write-up was so good that I would have a hard time living up to the "hype." I told him of my tendency to wait for the "but" comment. Yet, Pastor Jeff encouraged me to believe it was truth, not hype. I gave my talk, and pray that the ladies was moved and encouraged by what I shared. Then after I was done, Pastor Jeff had the ladies share some of their favorite parts about me and my talk, and he wrote them on a white board.

He then wrote BUT on the board, and I honestly thought for a moment he was going to write some ways I could have done better. I didn't know what would happen next. But he took a marker and put a big X on the but.  There was no "but." He encouraged us to live a life of "But-free living." A life where we encourage one another without the "but." 

God knows all about us, everything on both sides of the "but." However, he loves us anyway, and because of Jesus, he only sees the good side, forgiving everything else.  In him we can realize our value. In him, we have great worth.

Jesus loves BUTS about it!

What differences can you make in your life, and in the lives of others, by implementing "but-free" living? 
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at

Chatty Kelly

Special thanks to Dr. Jeff Scott for speaking wisdom and encouragement in my life. And I thought I was the one who was supposed to be doing the speaking and encouraging that day!


Sharon Sloan said...

I love that Pastor Jeff encouraged you! Yay! God is good! Hugs to you! Wish I lived closer so I could be your groupie! LOL!

"Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all." ~ 1 Chronicles 29:12

Dr. Jeff Scott said...

God loves us no buts about it!

Terry Lange said...

I was taught that using "but" after a list of things actually negated what was previous stated. You could say a bunch of nice things about something, then negate it with whatever was said following the "but"

Not sure where I learned it. It has forced me to watch what I say and how it is said.

Carmen said...

Lol...oh this was good! know, I'm like that too. Those who know me well are always telling me I'm too hard on myself. After reading this, I think I'll try and go but-free too! Pastor Jeff sounds like a wonderful guy!

Kelly Combs said...

He is! Let's all give but free living a try. Not only in our own lives, but in the grace we extend to others.

Kari Scare said...

For me, realizing that an excuse often comes after the "but" is a key. I hate excuses. I used to tell my students (years ago when I taught at a community college) that I would accept reasons, not excuses. This cut down on a lot (but not all) of the stories that students make up for not doing something. Just changing our language, like by eliminate the word but, can change our approach to life.

Kari Scare said...

Replying to my own comment is a little odd, BUT I have another thought. A couple of years ago, our choir did a presentation titled "But God..." and, if I remember correctly, it related to all the scripture that starts with "But God..." This is a positive use of the word :-)

Kelly Combs said...

I love that application Kari! My entire life is "But God." I once was lost BUT now am found. Amen, sister!

Barb said...

Love this! I tend to use the word this way: I'd love to write a book BUT I'm not a good enough writer. I'd love to write a blog BUT I'm not on the ball enough. Not techie enough. Etc.

Because things came so easily for me when i was young, I grew up thinking if it was hard I couldn't do it. The last few years God has been teaching me I can do hard things.

Too bad I waited so long to find out! (Wait a minute, is that another but?)

Lisa Brouwer said...

What a great reminder of how our own self-confidence holds us back! We see our imperfections and others see our potential! No buts!