“Just Do It”

by Jerry Senn

This seems to me to be the slogan that has become the “guiding ethic” of our times. In other words, “if it feels good, do it, don’t allow old prohibitions to stop the pleasure cycles” we live by in modern life. And, as we read Isaiah’s appraisal of the culture to which he spoke, it sounds almost the same approach to life prevailing today in ours.

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and shrewd in their own sight!"
— Isaiah 5:20-21

I read the other day about one Harvard valedictorian who said, “The freedom in our day … is the freedom to devote ourselves to any values we please, on the mere condition that we do not believe them to be true.”

During the past century our society has devoted itself to placing numerous restrictions on our modern lives. These are imposed in the name of public safety—seat belts, helmets, health codes of all sorts. We seem willing to do this at great expense and inconvenience to the society. At the same time too many despise any thought of the kind of moral restraint that could bring our moral decisions in check.

Notice how Isaiah graphically describes the outcome of this failure.

"Instead of perfume there will be rottenness; 
and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth;
and branding instead of beauty.
Your men shall fall by the sword
and your mighty men in battle,
And her gates shall lament and mourn;
empty, she shall sit on the ground."
— Isaiah 5:24

The “just do it” philosophy of living will always result in an environment filled with chaos, “rottenness” and ruin.

“We put ourselves in particular peril when, regardless of the consequences, we permit our instincts to drive us to do what we already know is wrong.” — Joseph Stowell

(Remarks inspired by: Joseph Stowell’s book, “Following Christ, Experiencing Life The Way It Was Meant To Be,” pp 52, 53).