(This month Debbie volunteered to write the Chaplains Moment)

Consequences

Think before you speak. Look before you leap. Consider the cost. These are all statements that indicate a consequence is waiting to happen, whether good or bad.

Those expressions caution us when acting out of impulse or without much forethought. Of course God sometimes directs us to be impulsive, like when we see a stranger hurting and we reach out to comfort them with a hug or prayer. The consequence can be peace and encouragement. But it also can be “mind your own business!”.

But more often than not, it is my own impulsiveness, “living in the moment” with my “own” opinions or advice that lead to consequences that aren’t what I had intended.

Sometimes I choose a bad consequence because the activity at hand is so appealing. I really want to eat that whole pint of ice cream. Or I walk through that tall grassy, probably chigger infested field of flowers to take pictures. And sure enough, I reap the consequence I knew was coming.

Those might be selfish examples, but you can also choose a bad consequence for a good reason. Have you ever taken the keys from your friend because you are more concerned for their safety than for the verbal abuse you will receive for trying to protect them. Or maybe you have stood up for what you know is right and found yourself standing alone, but stood up anyway?

Consequences. Some are unintended because of foolishness or ignorance and some we deliberately accept. Some we experience just because of the bad choices other people make. We can give excuses or cry “unfair” or we can accept them as part of our Life Story. It is all part of the process that God uses to teach and mature us.

Romans 8:28 says; “And we know that God causes everything [even the painful stuff] to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

We may not see the good as soon as we’d like, but it is His promise. And that is a consequence we can look forward to.

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