I am in South Africa and have a lot of time to reflect. Pray that I use it well and not in a destructive manner which I am prone to do. Tough turning off the brain and my ways to shut down aren’t always good.
This week, I’ve been thinking a about consequences and what they mean. I think that I’ve decided that they don’t “mean” much except that they happen. Often times, we wish they didn’t, but once a deed is set into motion, consequences just happen. The key is to not let the consequences take the focus off the choices that we made.
I have to smile when I think about Christopher’s speeding ticket. This came less than a week after a fender bender for which he was cited. I remember him asking why, if he does the same things his friends do, does he always get caught. I gently (or not so) explained that that he made choices and there are consequences. Why other’s avoided these, I didn’t know, but they are the ones who should be surprised. In his case, I told him, God was trying to keep him safe and apparently he was a slow learner!
Isn’t that an interesting thought? How many of us are surprised when we avoid consequences for our choices. Not the usual response. Rather, we tend to only be surprised when we are subjected to consequences for bad choices. We try to rationalize why we shouldn’t be. In a situation close to me, I’ve heard that someone was “good” and from a “good family”. Consequences are about the choice, not the person. They clearly impact the person and hopeful will be used to change behaviors – that is the point of consequences.
In Christopher’s case, I think that not sparing Christopher of consequences was an act of love. The Bible talks about God only disciplining those He loves. The purpose of discipline is to teach which is the purpose of consequences.
I would pray that we would see consequences as being allowed by God and not try to be surprised. I pray that we would turn to Him whether we are spared consequences or have to face them. For those of us who have a personal relationship with God, through Jesus, we know that either way, it is of God.
Whew – that takes the pressure off to have to figure out what these consequences mean!