Choice and Consequence
By Preacher Chris Rathbone
One day last week after dropping the boys off at school I was driving from Bakersville towards Ledger. My mind was wandering about studying for the next Sunday’s sermon when I noticed a state trooper doing a very abrupt u-turn in from of me.
You see, as I was coming through metropolis Bakersville a lady in a small SUV pulled out in front of me. She was obviously in a hurry and needed to get in front of me! The brakes on my car did the job and I was able to avoid getting too close to her. If this had happened years ago, I would have probably blown the car horn and got all red-faced and stuff. But since I’m all spiritual now, that behavior is avoided, lol! Anyway, the lady was traveling along in front of me until we left the city limits and she let the gas fumes roll if you know what I mean. Her speed was well above the limit because she was way ahead of me when we reached a long straightaway. That’s where the trooper did his u-turn.
The first thing I did was check my speed. Thankfully I was doing the speed limit. As I left the straight away and rounded a curve the trooper had the lady pulled over, obviously for speeding. Well, I was thankful it wasn’t me because I never speed…. I mean very seldom speed….I mean hardly ever speed…well, sometimes I speed and I have gotten caught, there you have it, OK!
Now for everyone out there reading this that has been pulled over, you know what I mean when I talk about that feeling you have when those blue lights are flashing behind you. Now let’s all be honest, first, we realize we have been caught and the next thought in our mind is how are we going to get out of this? What excuse can we give the police officer about why we were speeding? For certain, police officers have heard it all. Even though many of us chose to break the law, for some reason we do not want to suffer the consequences that come with that choice. Somehow, we want the consequences to be taken away. We do not want to pay the fine, go to court, or see our insurance premiums increase, even though we chose to break the law, and we knew the possible consequences.
Every day of our lives we are faced with choices. Obviously, as Christians, I believe that the Lord Jesus wants us to make choices that will glorify Him, show others we are followers of Christ, and benefit ourselves, our families, and those around us. All too often we blame God with things that have happened in our lives when what is going on is simply the consequences of the choices we have made. Many times, I have counseled with people who have chosen to do exactly the opposite of what the Bible teaches. After making those choices, they call me or another pastor and somehow want us to be able to take away the consequences of their choices. Husbands or wives commit adultery, and then wonder why their marriage and family has dissolved. Young people chose to be involved in pre-marital sex, or take drugs, etc., and then when the consequences come, they somehow want them erased. Now before someone has me “strung up” as an old hateful and judgmental preacher let me clarify some things.
First, I believe that God loves us and forgives us when we fail Him and even when we just make some flat-out stupid choices in life. Secondly, I believe that we as Christians are to be loving and forgiving also. When people mess up and make wrong choices, we state the truth of their choices and how those choices have ended in the consequences that are now enduring. We love and restore them just as the Lord would and just like we would want them to do for us. However, we cannot erase the consequences that have resulted because of the wrong choice that was made. Sometimes consequences last for a few days, weeks, years, and even a lifetime. Even though God will forgive the sin when confessed, the consequences of that sin are something one will have to live with for a long time in this life.
Jesus teaches us in Matthew 8:24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And when the rain descended, and floods came, and winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and floods came, and winds blew, and beat upon that house; it fell: and great was the fall of it.
We cannot expect to make choices in life that are contrary to God’s word and not suffer the consequences that will come. Let us be found as wise men and build our lives upon the teachings of scriptures. The wisdom you and I need to live this life is found in the Word of God through His Son Jesus. Let us make wise choices, for every choice has a consequence, good or bad!
P.S. Watch your speed!
Preacher Chris Rathbone serves as Pastor at Mine Creek Baptist Church.