Getting By With It

By Robert F. Turner

“He got by with it!” That colloquial expression means that he was caught. He thinks he “got by with it,” but this is never true. The one who makes the statement knows better, and has already changed his opinion of the one who tried to “get by with it.” There is very little we really “get by with” even in this life .

I believe man’s capacity for greatness is a divine endowment (we are made in his image). But we are molding our individual character day by day by our response to the experiences of life  drawing closer or pulling further away from what our Maker would have us be. And make no mistake about it! We are what we are, not what we like to kid ourselves into thinking we are (1 John 3:7).

When a man gives in to temptation, no matter how well the matter is concealed from others, his own makeup is affected. A thousand victims have a thousand shoulders upon which to bear their burden, but the man who tries to “get by with it” must take the total wrong upon himself . He is guilty before God and, even if he cares little for that, he has whittled a bit more from the stature of the man he could have been.

This amoral, godless generation tells us there is no standard for determining a “good” or “bad” man, but in practice they repudiate their theory. They recognize and do not want to do business with the “bad” man. One cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

Proverbs 11:3f reads, “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of the treacherous shall destroy them.” We can build into our character that which will sustain us in adverse times, or we can cut ourselves loose from solid mooring and drown in our own folly.

And we fool God none of the time. All creatures stand before God “naked and opened” (Heb. 4:13). (The last word means literally, “to bend back the neck” of a victim to be slain or exposed.) How can we expect to “get by” with anything when we are so exposed to him who judges righteously?

Reprinted with permission from Stuff About Things.”

Guardian of Truth XLI: 10 p. 6
April May 1, 1997