Are the Instructions in the Bible too Simple for Complex Problems?

My dad used to give me a simple command, and I would say, Yeah, but…

He would answer, No “yeah buts”.  Just do what I’ve told you to do.

End of discussion.

I see many complex problems –overwhelming fear, depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, anger, shame…

And I guess maybe I am a very simple person, because I always answer these issues with the short, direct commands found in Scripture.

I hear a lot of Yeah, but…Then the explanation of complexity and depth of struggle.  I’ve been wondering, have I been insensitive to how hard this is?  Is it inappropriate for me to bring a simple answer to a hard life issue?  Maybe it seems naïve on my part?


But then I see Jesus stand in front of the woman caught in adultery.  What a mess, isn’t she?  Surely a lifetime of difficulty and deep need has brought her to this point of sin.  Jesus makes her accusers evaporate, and then he says, “Go, and sin no more.”  (John 8:11  NIV)

Doesn’t that seem too simple a command for a woman in such a knotty situation?

She could have said, Yeah, but you don’t know what I’ve been through.  You don’t know the emotions I deal with every day.  You don’t know the circumstance I’m in right now.  You have no idea what it will cost me to change.

In this story we read no “yeah buts”.

Maybe because her relief was so great she was willing to do exactly what He said, no questions asked.  Just go home and stop the sexual sin.  End of discussion.

Perhaps it is when we are in the biggest mess that we need the simplest instructions.

And then it’s just a matter of whether we’ll do what we’re told.


  1. This is my BIGGEST struggle in life. I have a serious “yeah but” problem. Thank you for writing this. I will endeavor to overlook the buts from this point forward. 🙂

    1. Learning to obey the simple commands quickly and without arguing has brought me closer to the Lord than just about anything. I pray God will help you with this!! Happy Easter. 🙂

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