We make choices in life that at the time seem hard, but later we are so relieved for having made the right choice, that the difficulty we endured seems insignificant. In retrospect, I wish that all the decisions I made in life were the correct ones, but they weren’t. It’s not as though I didn’t know they were the wrong choices , I just willfully made the bad choice. The cause and effect was always to my detriment. So much so that have serious regrets that haunt my memory. Fortunately I made fewer bad choices than good ones and I have had a relatively easy life compared to some people I know.
It’s often a fear of the consequences what keeps me on the straight and narrow. The fear of God is more like a fear of displeasing Him. It’s not like He’s punishing us for being bad. It’s that there are cause and effect rules that he put in effect. A simplistic viewpoint would be that when we do the right thing, good things happen, but when we sin, bad things happen. So there is nobody to blame but ourselves when we suffer on account of our sin.
What about when someone who is innocent, suffers because of someone else’s sin? We live in a fallen world, and every time we sin, it negatively affects someone else. That’s why sinning is such a self centered act. It doesn’t take into account all the innocent people that suffer because of it.
My truck was broken into for a couple of bucks of parking meter change I left in the ashtray. It cost me hundreds for the insurance deductible, and hours of wasted time getting it fixed. The insurance company paid even more, ultimately resulting in everyone’s policy going up a bit. Now was that junkie thinking about all the hardship he was creating when he smashed my truck window? No, all he was thinking about was getting together $5 so he could get high.
We don’t usually think about the ripple effect when we choose to sin.
When we say we love God, what does that mean? If our desire is to be a Christian yet to live as non Christian as possible, then we’re lying. We don’t really love God. We love what we pursue. What we pursue is the proof of what we really desire. Loving God involves developing a love of pursuing righteousness. I’ve watched young people trying to be as worldly as possible without crossing an imaginary line. Our goal shouldn’t be to test the waters to see how much we can get away with. We should be pursuing what is pleasing to a holy God. Making our heart accurately reflect His heart.
I enjoy looking at Facebook to see what interests people. What interests us is where our heart resides. Young girls are always posting stuff about how they look. Guys are all about games, fantasy, sports and adventures. Middle aged people post pictures of their families. Sometimes older people can get more serious about what really matters in life.
Deut.30:11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.
12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.
16 If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them,
18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,
20 loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”