One of the most famous advertising slogans of all time is Nike’s “Just Do It!” Next to its “swoosh” symbol, these words are Nike’s most recognizable trademark. As a slogan it perfectly fits the bill. It is concise and memorable, and it encapsulates the culture of the company it represents. Nike wants its customers to believe that their products will enable them to reach any goal, and “Just Do It!” unquestionably conveys that idea.
In the sporting world, which is Nike’s chosen niche, “Just Do It!” zeroes in on the heart of competition. Many people talk a good game, but precious few can actually back up their words with their performance on the field. This is generally the difference between champions and also-rans. The champions get it done, while the also-rans make excuses as to why they didn’t.
“Just Do It!” is more than a sporting motto, however. It is a fundamental character principle that applies in every aspect of life. Children learn this truth when their parents deflect their excuses for not doing their chores, or their homework, or some other task that has been given to them. Students learn it from teachers, who are not impressed with, “The dog ate my homework”. Employees also learn it from supervisors and bosses, who are concerned only with results. The truth is, no one appreciates an excuse maker. We reserve our esteem for those who do what they say they will do.
There is no area in which the “Just Do It!” philosophy is more apropos than in spiritual matters. The inescapable conclusion of scripture is that only those who “do” are going to be rewarded by the Lord. When the Lord concluded the Sermon on the Mount He said that the one who does the will of the Father in heaven will enter heaven (Mt. 7:21). In Mt. 7:24-27 He went on to say that the one who hears His word and does it is like the wise man who built his house on a rock. His house will stand all the onslaughts of life. He also said that the one who hears His word and does not do it is like the foolish man who built his house on the sand. His house will fall, and he with it.
During the ministry of Elijah the prophet laid this principle before the people of Israel. In 1 Kgs. 18:21 he asked them, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” Their silence in response to this question indicated their lack of commitment at that moment. In essence, the prophet was telling them to “Just Do It!”, whatever their choice might be. One cannot waver in response to God.
When asked what the greatest commandment was, the Lord said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mt. 22:37). Later, on the night of His betrayal, the Lord said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (Jn. 14:15). This is what loving God with all one’s heart, soul, and mind is. This is what the Lord requires, and there are no excuses for failing to do so. We either do it, or we don’t. It’s just that simple.
Our Lord did all the hard work of salvation, the things that we were incapable of doing. He went to the cross and shed His blood to pay the penalty for our sins. He didn’t make excuses, He just did it. What remains to be done so we can enter heaven is well within our ability to do. Our Father in heaven wishes for all of us to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4). Therefore, let’s stop making excused. Let’s “Just Do It!”