The Yeah-But Disease

Today’s posting was written by Sue Barrett, Administrative Assistant for Operations at Hope Harbor Church.

Among women in our country, our world, there is a very common disease today.  No, it’s not newer than HIV.  I’d venture to say it is older and even more common than the common cold.  As I listen to women, I’ve found that it’s more prevalent, persistent and unsightly than dandruff – more noticeable to the naked eye than the smallest imperfection.  Once you’ve acquired it, it’s nearly impossible to eradicate.  No amount of cosmetology, new hairstyles, new wardrobes, new shoes or plastic surgery can diminish its effects. The unsightly handiwork will sooner or later become quite evident to all.

It can be acquired in only a moment but without treatment the effects can be crippling, even life threatening. It is like a virus that injects its DNA into healthy cells; then replicates itself very quickly through out our system until it has complete control.   Many of us are carriers and don’t even realize that we transmit it to the thousands of people we come in contact with every year. Those most at risk are our children, our husbands and our friends. Why haven’t we heard more about this?  What are the symptoms?  How do you know if you’re at risk?

  1. Are you often unhappy? 
  2. Do the joys of others annoy you?
  3. Do you feel unappreciated, un- or under loved?
  4. Are you easily overwhelmed or disappointed?
  5. Are you often irritable?
  6. Are you less likely to join in group activities than you once were?
  7. Are you often afraid?
  8. Do you often combat overwhelming feelings of guilt or remorse?
  9. Do you often suffer remorse over lost opportunities?
  10. Sometimes, would you love to just give up since you can’t start the whole thing over?

If you answered yes to 6 or more of the above:

Your case requires immediate intervention to prevent further complications or even death.

If you answered yes to 3-5 of the above questions:

The treatment often provides immediate relief although symptoms can require up to several years before the disease is in complete remission.

If you answered yes to 1-2 of the above questions:

The treatment may result in immediate remission although symptoms may  reappear or worsen if treatment is discontinued.

If you answered no to all of the above questions:

Congratulations! You do not have the disease but you will remain at risk throughout your lifetime.

Many people are diagnosed well into the 4th stage with depression, anxiety and panic disorder.  However, I believe we can intervene sooner when this syndrome is still in its reversible early stage. What is this affliction? Some refer to it as dysfunctional disclaimer disorder aka nagging, nay saying, nitpicking, necrosis of the nervous system aka persistent, pernicious, pessimistic paralysis of the parietal lobe which can lead to a lame limbic system aka sitting down (disobeying) when you should be standing for (obeying) God yet I prefer to name it in simple, layman’s terms – The Yeah-But Disease (no pun intended).

The Yeah-But Disease is characterized by exhibiting a negative attitude towards almost any possible positive option encountered by short-circuiting its unsuspecting host in mid-pursuit of his/her dreams, goals or plans.  Whatever positive thought passes through the mind is immediately besieged by either a platoon of several or just one very pernicious “Yeah-But” anti-thought.

I first became aware of this disease when contemplating my feelings as I was seeking God’s face regarding several options in my life.  My options were two:

1)  Listen to God, verify it with His Word and obey his voice or

2)  Submit to the Yeah-But Disease, listen to all the reasons why it would be more comfortable and sensible to disobey, and then – disobey.

Upon careful analysis, I discovered that I had been in close proximity to a friend of more than 20 years whom I had listened to while she rationalized away about every possible move God has ever placed upon her life.  Time and time again, she had come to me for counsel which I was happy to give.  Then, after I had bestowed upon her the sum total of all my earthly wisdom she invariably dismissed my sagacity with one little phrase – Yeah-But.  Yeah-But was the reason she never finished college, never had any children, never worked, never accrued any Social Security or retirement, rarely took any trips, rarely had a close circle of friends and rarely pursued anything passionately.  Disobedience appeared so much safer and more reliable.  After all, she would never in good conscience do anything to hurt herself.

It was only a matter of time before I acquired the disease. Yeah-But assured me that doing anything out of obedience and passionate love for God could possibly lead to ruinous risk and when it did, who would be there to offer comfort?  Certainly not Yeah-But!  The only thing he would promise was that he would offer me a hearty helping of accusation and guilt before his court of one.

Then one day, some Word I had stored in my heart broke through the bars of Yeah-But and brought to me great freedom once again.  Freedom to dream, freedom to risk, and freedom to depend on God for the consequences of my actions committed in obedience to Him and to His Word.  I discovered hope in Jesus could be my greatest ally.

God gives us hope in His Word in the verses which state “I will lift my eyes unto the mountains; from whence shall my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.  (Psalm 121:1-3)

Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the Lord your God, and you will be established. (2 Chr. 20:20)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Be Blessed!