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Suffering the Consequences?

Suffering the Consequences?

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Category: Special Features

One of the hardest realities for some of us to learn is that our actions have consequences. Whatever we do either affects us or others, and usually both.

We begin teaching our children at an early age "Do not hit!" and "Do not bite!" and a host of other "Do not's!" because our actions can hurt other people. We are teaching them that there are consequences to others because of our actions. We teach them to avoid fires and hot surfaces and playing in the street, because the consequences of these can be extremely hurtful to ourselves.

Some, however, are slow to learn those lessons. Many, it seems, "have to learn the hard way" through suffering the consequences of their actions.

I read a story the other day, which at first seemed cute, but as the message sinks in, it teaches a much deeper lesson"

Little Emily, the minister's daughter, ran into the house, crying as though her heart would break. "What's wrong, dear?" asked her father. "My dolly, my dolly! Billy broke it!" she sobbed. "How did he break it, Emily?" her father asked.

To which she replied, "I hit him over the head with it."

Consequences! Far too often, just like that little girl, we tend to blame someone else for something that is a direct result of our decisions or actions. Job said many years ago, "My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same" (Job 4:8 NLT, 1st Ed.).

Hosea told us all years ago about a crucial principle of consequence:

I said, "Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you." (Hosea 10:12)

We deal with consequences daily in our lives. The consequence occurs either because of our actions, or because of the actions of others. The real question is this: How do we react when our "dolly" is broken? On whom do we place the blame for her being broken?

We often have to face difficult problems in our lives and ask, "Why did God do this to me?" In reality, we are facing consequences that are the result of our own choices and actions, the choices and actions of others, or maybe even the choices we make with our life style.

God will never desert you in times of trouble. The Psalmist writes the following:

He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. (Psalms 62:6-7)

God reminded his servant Jeremiah and his friends about his presence among them:

So now the LORD says, "Stop right where you are! Look for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16)

Do you want to keep from suffering the consequences of the decisions you make? If you don't want that, then run from sin and cling to the Rock, and walk on his paths following his word and being led by his Spirit.

About the Author

Russ Lawson
Russ Lawson is a former missionary to Africa and minister in Ohio. He now works with World Christian Literature Outreach and writes a weekly email devotional, Messages from the Heart. For more information about Russ, click here.

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