Friday, July 27, 2012

Bad Decisions by Martin Wiles

She sat at the airport crying-waiting for the bus that would carry her back to base where she would be discharged ASAP.

Sarah* was an unmarried young woman who left a stressful job and joined the National Guard. After four weeks at basic training, stress fractures sent her home on convalescence leave. During the recuperation, she learned she was pregnant by a young man she had only been dating three months. Now she was back to be chaptered out of her dream. Sarah’s emotions ran wild as she thought about the drastic changes in store. She had sinned and consequences would follow.

Moses warned two Israeli tribes about sin’s consequences. But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23). They and half of another tribe wanted to settle on the eastern side of the Jordan River rather than in the Promised Land proper. Initially angry, Moses accepted their request but warned them about the dangers of reneging on their promise to help their comrades fight for their inheritance.

Sin may be an unpopular term for forbidden acts, but it’s God’s term nevertheless. Bad decisions aren’t necessarily sinful but when they are consequences follow. I’ve endured painful consequences resulting from other’s bad decisions, but the worst are the ones experienced because of bad choices I made.

Fortunately, consequences have nothing to do with forgiveness or future chances. The only unpardonable sin is refusing God; all others are forgivable. And God always gives another chance when we express sorrow and a desire to begin anew. Bad decisions only define us when we choose to live in the prison of regret. God may not remove the consequences, but he’ll give strength to face each new day.

Prayer: Thank You merciful Lord for Your continual forgiveness and fresh starts. 
*Name changed to protect privacy.
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