by David Sisler

Allison Sanders is a fan of mystery stories. She is also reader of classified ads in the newspapers. Some of the very best mystery stories, she points out, are found in the classifieds.

Consider this one: “LOST, black billfold and trousers. No questions asked. Might be found separately. Liberal reward for either.”

Writing in the Houston Chronicle, Allison speculated about the owner, and looser, of the billfold and trousers.

“Was the bereft owner some foreign spy surprised at work by the FBI?” she wondered. “Did he jettison his trousers in the interest of a speedier getaway? A jittery Don Juan fleeing the sudden sound of footsteps on the porch, or a key in a lock? An absent-minded burglar so elated at finding milady’s jewels in the wall safe that he walked away without his trousers?”

No questions asked.

Chemists in St. Louis have stumbled onto a new deodorant. It works in a very different way from any similar product yet developed. Most deodorants work on one of two principles – they either seek to eliminate the source of the odor, or they add sufficient perfume of their own to cover up the odor.

This new product, called a malodor counteractant, does neither. It works on the nose of the one smelling the bad odor. It “turns off” the nose of the smeller so that he or she has the illusion of fresh air.

Nothing has been done to change or eliminate the odor. It is still there. The scientists are trying to change our perception of the odor.

No questions asked.

A very perceptive teenager once remarked about responsibility. Speaking to an adult for whom she had great respect, she said, “You will not allow us to be responsible for anything. If I total the car, you say, ‘That’s all right, I’ve got insurance.’ If I don’t make a passing grade, you say, ‘That’s all right, they’re grading on a curve. Those who didn’t pass, may still pass.’ If I become pregnant, you say, ‘That’s all right. You can have an abortion.’ If I commit a criminal act, you say, ‘That’s all right, you’re underage. The newspaper won’t print your name and you’ll just get probation.’

“Then you adults tell us young people, ‘You are responsible for the future of our nation.’ How can we be responsible for the future of America, when you won’t allow us to be responsible for our own actions and our own lives?”

No questions asked? I don’t think so!

I am fascinated by products on the market which say, “Take our pill and you can eat all you wish and still loose weight. Take our pill and you can sleep the pounds off. There is no need to count calories or fat or anything else. No questions asked.”

There was a teaching in the early church which asked no questions. Because Jesus has totally forgiven our sin, they taught, and since He has made us totally new creatures, we no longer can commit sin. Of course, the body continues to sin, but since the believer is a spiritual being, he can live anyway he chooses and still be without sin. That teaching continues today.

Like the teenager, that teaching denies personal responsibility. Like the malodor counteractant, it does nothing to remove the source of the offending smell. Like the diet pill, it does not address the reasons we diet in the first place.

The man who advertised a liberal reward for his trousers or his billfold, said, “No questions asked.” Nothing is further from God’s way than irresponsibility. Nothing is closer to God’s way than personal responsibility.

If something in your life smells bad, you need to remove the offense instead of trying to cover it up. No questions asked? If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, it may be time you asked some questions.


Copyright 2002 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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