Cause and effect - Hope 103.2

Cause and effect

By David ReayTuesday 29 Dec 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Galatians 6:7-8

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. People reap what they sow. 8 Those who sow to please their sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; those who sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (TNIV)

Actions have consequences. True, God in his mercy can save us from the worst consequences. He certainly has acted to save us from the ultimate consequence of the ultimate wrong act: Jesus delivers us from eternal estrangement from God which normally results from our defiance of him. But we can’t then assume that our actions don’t matter. My bad actions might be forgiven as I bring them to God humbly. Yet these actions still affect me.

A person may drink to excess and indulge in criminal behaviour. They might turn to God for mercy. And yet the legal penalties might remain, as might the damage to the liver. Another person might be a cruel gossip. Confessing that sin might make things right with God but the gossiping may still have broken friendships and condemned the gossip to lonely isolation.

Our actions matter. God doesn’t step in and save us from each and every consequence. In this way we bring judgement on ourselves. For those who follow Jesus, we can never assume there is no judgement. True, there is no condemnation. But our lives this side of heaven can be twisted out of shape by our wrong choices and egocentric patterns of conduct. Marriages aren’t what they could be; churches are less than they could be; families fall short of their potential. All because we do wrong and are faced with the consequences. Bad news.

The good news is that the same principle applies when we do good, when we focus on pleasing God. We reap the good consequences of those good actions. As the saying goes: “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”

David Reay