Sin Has Consequences

“That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; and God requires an account of what is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:15).

I feel like, in many churches, more emphasis is placed on God’s forgiveness as opposed to His holiness. I am so grateful for God’s mercy and forgiveness, but there are often still consequences to the fleshly decisions that we make. This is one reason that it is important to walk in the Spirit so that you do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

I don’t believe that God causes bad things to happen to His people but He does allow them, and sometimes it’s to remind us that sin has a price. Like most parents, He doesn’t give children instructions to be mean; He can see what the ravages of sin looks like, and He desires to spare us those things. He didn’t tell Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil because He didn’t want them to taste something good; He saw the destruction and devastation that would cause, and we are still reaping the effects of that today.

consequences

As you look at your life and see the various sins and struggles you deal with, think about the effect those sins have on others. Even if no one knows what sin(s) you struggle with, everything is naked and open to God (Hebrews 4:13) and, if you are His child, and it will not be hidden forever.

If I end up writing more about this this year, it’s because I believe it is the message of 2017. Each year brings us closer to Christ’s return. We can’t afford to ignore His call to stop what we are doing, lay down the sins that so easily beset us, and follow Him. We must encourage others to do that as well but our words will have no bearing if we are not living that self-denying life.

I am writing to myself as well. The year is still young. I want to be faithful to allow God to show me my heart and the things which displease Him and trust that, at the end of this year, I will be closer to Him than ever before as I allow Him to rid me of myself and fill me with more of His love, peace, joy, patience, gentleness, self-control, and every other attribute that reflects Him.

I dealt with some physical challenges last year, and this year is starting out rough but, if I can do nothing else, I pray for God’s help to use the down times to listen to Him, hear what He would speak, and share those words with you.

Poking Each Other in the Eye

Imagine for a moment that you are talking to a friend face-to-face, discussing something important. As you are talking you notice something floating in his eye. I would imagine that you would say, “Do you see that? “Doesn’t that bother you? Does it hurt?”

“What? See what?” They ask.

“Well, that thing in your eye. Can’t you feel it?”

“No, I don’t feel anything.” They reply, “I’m fine.” But they aren’t fine because this thing in their eye will eventually cause pain and damage. You feel compelled to help them.

“Come on; let me get that out for you.”

How quickly are you going to let a friend put their finger in your eye and pull something out? I know I wouldn’t be comfortable with it. My eye is incredibly sensitive. If your friend agreed to let you help and you were to pick this speck out of his eye, how would you do it?

I think it is safe to say that we would all be exceedingly gentle. We’d wash our hands, have the person lie down or sit in a chair, then we’d get an extra light so we could see better, then gently hold their eye open with one hand and with the gentlest touch possible you try to get the speck without poking your dear friend in the pupil causing pain and possibly more damage. You patiently try and try again with equal gentleness until the speck is out.

Now, imagine this scene again, except this time you have a patch on one eye and blurred vision in the other. Can you still get the speck? Or what if you just jump him in mid-conversation, peel his eyelid back rubbing, picking, and poking his eye until the speck is out? This would leave him in shock, pain, and stress. Would you do it this way or the first way? Does it matter? I think it matters greatly. Let’s look at some scripture inspiring this scene.

Matthew 7:1-5
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

We know this passage of scripture from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in regard to judging others and pointing out hypocrites. But, have we ever considered what it takes to actually get the speck out of our brother’s eye? Have we ever thought about the gentleness and sensitivity that it takes? Did Jesus use the eye here because of how sensitive our eyes truly are? So often we like to focus on not being “hypocritical” when pointing out the speck in your brother’s eye and forget about our methods. We’ll use this passage when feeling defensive: “you can comment on my sin when you get that gigantic beam out of your own eye!” Rarely do we even consider taking special care in how we “take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Isn’t this level of gentleness and sensitivity the primary goal?

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