Due to my lack of artistic ability, I’ll have to ask you to draw the mental picture. Imagine a guy with a small creature sitting on each shoulder. One is whispering in his right ear, “Just say no!” while the one on the left side urges, “Just do it!” Both of these have been popular slogans. So are they both to be heeded? What do they mean, anyway? What are we doing? And what are we saying “no” to?
According to Wikipedia, “Just Say No” was an advertising campaign during the 1980s and early 1990s, to discourage children from engaging in illegal drug use. Eventually, this also expanded the realm of “Just Say No” to violence and premarital sex.
So how about the origin of “Just do it”? It sounds like what a mom would say to her kids about the daily chores, and I must confess I probably did this lots of times when mine were young. But the truth is much more interesting. On a video clip, Dan Wieden of Nike laughingly tells how he was inspired by the last words of a notorious spree-killer, Gary Gilmore, who was executed in Utah in 1977! (His actual words were “Let’s do it.”)
Back to our guy with the little creatures whispering conflicting messages in his ears. I hope he thinks long and hard about what it is he’s thinking of doing, who it is that’s urging him to do it and who says not to do it–and why. When the “still small voice” urges us do what is right, the siren calls around us can easily drown it out. Who are we listening to?
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:12-14)