Vol. 5, No. 5
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There are times when it is dangerous to think! How often do we respond to someone's unwelcome question or offer with the oft-heard refrain, "I'll think about it"? There is the story of how in preparation for war the ancient Greek king, Agesilaus, assembled his armies to go into action. He sent word to an ally asking him to help Greece in its hour of peril. The other ruler replied that he would consider it. Agesilaus replied: "Tell him that while he is considering it we will march!"
Sometimes when we say, "I'll think about it," we really mean that we do not want to decide. In such cases, we don't really mean that we will think about it; we mean exactly the opposite -- we don't want to think about. We will shelve the proposal. How many times do we meet an invitation to teach in the Bible school program or become a part of the visitation program or assist in World Bible School, with, "I'll think about it"? Does our thinking about it ever generate into actually doing it? Remember that King Agrippa was "almost persuaded" to become a Christian (Acts 26:28). Paul knew that he believed (Vs. 27), but Agrippa did not want to render a decision.
Sometimes when we say, "I'll think about it," we are merely postponing something that we should do immediately. This was the shortcoming of Governor Felix when Paul boldly "reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled and answered, 'Go thy way for this time, when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee'" (Acts 24:25). There are people who intend to obey the Lord someday. Others plan to return to Christ and be faithful again someday. It is worthy of note that in every recorded instance of salvation in the Book of Acts, when people learned of Christ and his teachings, they responded immediately. They did not put it off!
I would not suggest that there is no benefit to thinking about things and discussing them. We would not want to be thoughtless in our approach to spiritual things. It is true, however, in the final analysis that thinking and talking are no substitutes for action. A trademark of the Pharisees was their tendency to talk a good game, but never do (Matthew 23:2). There comes a time when thinking and talking must translate into doing, and the phrase, "I'll think about it," should be left off.
Often if we continue saying, "I'll think about it," the thing thought about will not be done at all. Governor Felix probably never found his "convenient season." When duty is conveniently shoved into the realm of mere thought, it is easy to forget. It is often this way when some generous impulse strikes us. A person's need moves us to think that something ought to be done, and we would like to help; but we stop to think about it and the moment of opportunity is gone.
There are times when wisdom says, "I'll think about it," but, there are more times when the better part of wisdom says, "Don't think about it, just do it!"