post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

This is the 14th post of a series. I started out telling a chronological story, but got derailed before I could get past August of 2012. I’ve addressed the derailing tangent to death. My intention with this post was to get back on topic, but it appears I’m not quite ready to do that. (If you need to catch up or review, CLICK HERE to view a page listing all the posts in the series.)


post hoc ergo propter hocI’ve been paralyzed.

For a week.

Four previous drafts of the post I was trying to write sit abandoned. Because of this warped logic:

post hoc ergo proptor hoc

I know what you’re saying. “hhhhhhh. What is she talking about now?”

It means “after this, therefore because of this

Surprisingly, I didn’t read it in a book. My husband actually pulled it out of his freakish memory from an episode of The West Wing.

post hoc ergo proptor hoc

The reason for my paralysis. This knot in my gut, sick to my stomach paralysis.

(what follows is the culmination of a much longer conversation)

Me: I’m terrified of saying something that will lead to someone turning their back on God. I’m terrified of saying something that will lead someone to say “oh, YEAH. THAT’S a God I want to know.”

FirstHusband: “I’m not going to tell you not to be discouraged. I’m telling you to push through it.”

Me: I just don’t want to cause harm.

FirstHusand: “Do you think there’s anything you can say or do to cause someone to convert to Christ?”

Me:no.”

pregnant pause. We both know where he’s going with that question.

Me: “It’s not the same. People HAVE turned their back on God because of something someone has said to them.”

FirstHusband: “Have they really?”

Me: What are you saying?

(then there was a discussion about someone we know who turned their back on God and cites as the reason something one person said to them 15 years before.)

FirstHusband: “Did that one comment really keep them from God all these years?”

Me: “You’re saying the comment is a scapegoat.”

FirstHusband: “I’m saying that if there’s nothing you can say or do to CONVERT someone to Christ, there’s nothing you can say or do to PREVENT someone from coming to Christ. Your job is to..”

Me, interrupting: “be a witness.”

FirstHusband: “Exactly.”


draw near to God James 4 8” It is essential that you give people the opportunity to act on the truth of God. The responsibility must be left with the individual—you cannot act for him…Refusing to act leaves a person paralyzed, exactly where he was previously. But once he acts, he is never the same…The dominating power of the world, the flesh, and the devil is now paralyzed; not by your act, but because your act has joined you to God and tapped you in to His redemptive power.”
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers


This is the 14th post of a series. If you need to catch up or review, CLICK HERE to view a page listing all the posts in the series.

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