The definition of the “Boomerang Effect” on www.psychologydictionary.com reads that it “refers to a persuasive form of communication sent to a receiver, yet returned back with the opposite reaction. Thus, the consequential result is not the original, intended message. This effect is often generated when the counter-argument is stronger than the original statement. Ideally, the Boomerang Effect generates a favorable outcome when the positive message sent also comes back as a positive feedback received.”
Centuries before the Boomerang Effect was defined as such, Jesus applied it very skillfully. In chapter 9 of the gospel of Mark we empathize with the dad whose son was possessed by an evil spirit, and we feel his disappointment after the disciples’ unsuccessful attempt to cast the spirit out of the young boy. The dad’s voice was heard above the chaotic crowd as he cried out to Jesus in his desperation. At Christ’s request, the boy was brought to Him, and the dad explained the horrors this young man suffered, adding, “…If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (9:22)
That’s where Jesus applied the Boomerang Effect. He directed three words right back to the desperate dad: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (v. 23) With tearful eyes and deep pain in his heart, the dad cried out “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief”. The son was healed because Jesus intervened.
“If you can do…”
“If you can believe…”
In our seemingly impossible situations, we also cry out to God, “Lord, if You can…” (Finish the sentence with your own plea), when that’s not the issue at all. Of course He can do…!! He is Almighty God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He CAN do what we ask of Him because His power is limitless! At the point of our desperation, when we hurl out “If You can…” Jesus sends the boomerang right back and we hear “…if you can believe…believe in My power; believe in My perfect plans and purposes for you; believe in My goodness, believe in My patience and my love for you…believe that you are not alone; believe that I’ll never leave you, believe that no matter what, I’ve got you in the palm of My powerful, everlasting hand. Believe that every word I’ve ever said is true…if you can believe.”
The Boomerang Effect isn’t a theory of modern psychology. Jesus used it thousands of years ago, and still uses it now. When the “if you can believe” boomerang flies towards us, let’s believe!…and God will intervene!