Some of us have a tendency to believe that actions don’t have consequences. Unfortunately I am one of those people. My mind says things like “Sure I can stay up and finish this movie. I won’t feel too tired tomorrow.” Or “Hey another serving of dessert won’t hurt, I’m sure I’ll burn it off tomorrow.” Folks in Twelve Step groups have a word to describe that type of thinking and subsequent behavior. We call it denial.
Isaac Newton codified the law of consequences in the physical world. His third law of motion states “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Newton’s third law applied to physics, but the same principle holds true in other areas. What I do or don’t do results in an effect in the physical and emotional world, and yes, in the spiritual world.
All three lessons in the daily lectionary today warn that certain behaviors damage and harm, and can even destroy our relationship with God.
People like me tend to minimize the warnings. “Oh well if I do this, God will forgive me, he always does.”
The truth is that God will forgive me. But what I fail to see is that if I persist in certain activities, there will come a day when I prefer my sins so much I won’t want forgiveness anymore.
And who knows what I will miss while I am indulging myself? Years ago, when I was actively getting high, I came home late one night. I discovered that I had missed a birthday party for one of my siblings. I’d promised to be there. Instead, I had gone with a friend, scored drugs, and forgot the event and my promise.
My brother forgave me. One would wish that because of my gratitude at that forgiveness my life changed. It did not. In fact the shame made me decide to go out and get high again!
Fortunately, eventually God mercifully brought me to a place where I wanted God’s help and health more than anything else. Through the help of many people I began to move from death to life.
May God give me grace to continue to want him more than anything else.