“Here’s what we can do”, says the corporate attorney and then in the same breath she says, “Here is what we should do.” That’s all good if what we can and should do are the same, but can and should many times don’t end up being the same. In this example, the attorney counsels that should is less than can because the action to be taken pushes up against a norm or standard that is best untested or limited. Some people easily accept that solution, but others, when they hear can it means all of that and a little more. We know those people. They test the limits saying and doing things that we cringe at or disapprove. And, their response is, “I can do that”. There are companies that we can think of that govern on the principles of doing all that that they can and pushing the boundaries so that they can do more with the hopes of being the barrier breakers. There are acceptable times to do this and then there are times that can does not mean we should. I’ve found in my own career that companies and people who know the difference between can and should and err on the side of should, come out best.
As Believers we should hold ourselves to more scrutiny as it relates to can vs. should. Our actions, our words (spoken, written, posted, etc.) and decisions we make are being closely watched by others. When we disregard what we should do for what we can do, we take the risk of that being the thing that causes someone else to look at us and say, “Well, if that’s the way a person who say they follow Jesus is, then that Jesus is not for me.” I know, even as I write this, I can feel the heavy burden of this, but that’s what God does with us. He challenges us to be more discerning, wise, disciplined, etc. so that we are being whom we should be for Him!
Reference: Romans 6:11 (New Living Translation)