Posted by: Jo | June 7, 2013

Truth and Consequences

“…..If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

imageWhen I was young we played a game, called “Truth and Consequences”. I cannot remember exactly how we played it, but the object was to tell outrageous lies and then let the other players guess if one was telling the truth or not. The idea was to tell the truth in such a way that it sounded like a lie and thus fool the others. The reverse also worked. Tell a lie in such a convincing way, that the others believed it to be true. If a player guessed wrongly, there was a consequence to pay.

I was reminded of this game when I was thinking back to when my small granddaughter was involved in an altercation with her mother. She was obviously in the wrong, but when she was told the consequence of her disobedience was no television for a week, she was horrified. This was her plea to her mother, “I know there has to be a consequence, but can I choose the consequence?”

We may smile at her response, but as we look at today’s society, we can see that many people think like my little granddaughter. Some of us blithely think we can go through life without counting the cost of ourimage actions, our decisions or even those words we utter without thinking. We are as naïve as my little granddaughter thinking we can somehow control the consequences of our actions. We have become very much “a me” generation, a generation that is obsessed with our own well-being, not being aware that such selfishness can have incredible results in our own lives and those around us. We try to deceive ourselves that our actions will have a minimal effect and if so we will deal with it later.

Scripture has many warnings about consequences, good and bad. Perhaps the book of Proverbs could be called “The Truth and Consequence Book.” This book was written mostly by King Solomon to his son and is a culmination of wise sayings that a wise father had compiled to encourage his son to follow God’s design and thus avoid moral pitfalls. Many of us as parents have tried to equip our children for life in the same way.

The book of Proverbs leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind that we are ultimately responsible for our own actions. We cannot hide behind some of the old chestnuts that children have been voicing for generations.

  • “Everybody else was doing it”
  • “He made me do it”
  • “I didn’t think there was any harm in it”
  • “She started it”

I read an interesting quote in a magazine recently,

“Temptation comes through the door deliberately left open”

We need to look beyond the excuses and to embrace the blessings that follow doing things God’s way and to keep the door tightly shut on any possible temptation to do otherwise.

imageWhen we look honestly at the consequences before we take any action we begin to see the wisdom of Scripture. Anticipating the results of our actions is a great way to help us choose the right way to go about our everyday life and the wonderful consequences of following that wisdom is that we are blessed and those around us share in that blessing.

The law wasn’t given to punish people, but to lead them to the greater joy of a life lived abundantly. Jesus emphatically states that he wants us to enjoy life to the fullest and knows the best way for us to do this is to listen to the wisdom of God’s word.

“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

When we embrace God’s wisdom we understand the truth behind these words of Moses,

“They are not just idle words for you, they are your life.” (Deuteronomy 32:47)

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Responses

  1. I thoroughly agree with Bill’s comments. Think before you act and that God gave us a life here to enjoy. Thanks Jo and God bless.

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  2. Too often, God is blamed for tough circumstances when the reality is that they’re the consequences of choices we’ve made. We reap what we’ve sown…and sometimes the harvesting involves a long and painful amount of time.

    A little wisdom in considering the outcome of our actions would go a very long way, as you’ve so aptly shown here!
    \o/

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  3. Thanks, Jo – our society is moving as fast as it can to avoid consequences – seems we have “rights” these days that should preclude any negative consequence for whatever we want to do.
    I like your suggestion to consider the consequences before we act – following God’s wisdom. And also, the note that the law isn’t to set up punishment but to show us the way to joy and peace.

    Like


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