Because….it is a powerful word

Published 9:58 am Friday, April 22, 2022

The word “because” is a very powerful word. We use it constantly in daily conversations. “Because” is the evidence or reason why. According to Psychology Today, “A well-known 1978 study by Harvard psychology professor Ellen Langer demonstrates the ‘power of because.’” The research data was gathered at a busy college campus copy center back in the day when copies were made at a Xerox machine rather than by a personal printer. The center was notorious for its perpetual waiting line.
Study participants asked those waiting in line one of three of these carefully-worded questions. Notice the percentage of positive responses to each one.
“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” 60% of those asked responded yes.
“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make copies?” 93% of those asked responded yes.
“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?” 94% of those asked responded yes.
A well-known principle of human behavior states that if you’re asking for a favor, you’ll be more successful if you provide a reason. Why? It’s simple. People like to have a reason behind the things they do. The word “because” is so powerful for one simple reason. It explains why. Why does giving a reason make a difference in persuading readers? Because people resist change. They keep doing what they normally do unless you give them a reason to do something different. By using “because,” you give them that reason. We need to let the world know the reason we serve the Lord! They need to know our “because.”
Jesus read from Isaiah 61 in the temple of his hometown of Nazareth. He read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
Jesus stated his “because.” God anointed him to preach to those destitute of value, worth or importance or of little use. He was sent to heal those brokenhearted and to deliver the captives. He would make the blind to see and give freedom to those bruised by the world. This would all happen “because” God the Father had given him this power. We sang two well-known hymns on Easter morning: Because He Loved Me and Because He Lives. Because He loved me, He took my place at Calvary and because he lives, I have life more abundantly! 1 John 4:19 proclaims, “We love him, because he first loved us.” The “because” is of utmost importance. The reason we love Him is because He first loved us. In John 6:26 Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” They sought the Lord for all the food he provided for them. Why are we seeking after the Lord? What is our “because?” There should be only one answer. Because he loved us, we love him! We don’t love him for what he brings, but we love Him for who He is! We live for Him because he died for us! Because of Jesus, my life will never be the same.
(Brandon Young is pastor of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton)

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