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Most people feel they are the exception, rather than the rule. Some make the decision that “It can’t happen to me” and once they believe that lie, there’s no stopping them and they keep going. Believing that lie convinces you that you’re exempt from the eventual consequences. For example, the man who says he would never cheat on his wife but then one day find himself weak for another woman.
At first he is nervous because he accepts her phone number. After that he finds himself taking her on a date and feels totally uneasy and convicted. But as he presses past his conviction and spends more time with her, he no longer feels bad about cheating on his wife. Now enters the phase where he feels “I won’t get caught” and unfortunately he will. The Bible tells its readers in Eccl. 1:9 that “there’s nothing new under the sun” and yet people feel as if they are exempt from what God has put in place. One day I got the revelation that the very things I shake my head at can happen to me also if I don’t continue to watch and pray.
This is in no way belittling the reader, but do you think cheating on your spouse won’t catch up with you? Do you think a lack of exercise won’t catch up with you? Are you tricking people out of their money or over-charging people for a service? Stealing? Using people for sex? Think treating people inconsiderately won’t catch up with you? I would like to say that life can be somewhat predictable. The results are the same when we do others wrong. We can stay out of a lot of trouble if we apply God’s Word to our life. Sure, things happen in our lives, we live in a fallen world. That’s why babies die and people smoke but some won’t get cancer.
Why try being the exception when we can live a life of integrity now? Living a life pleasing to God does have its challenges; I would be the first to admit it. But there are benefits also in living a life of integrity. When living a life pleasing to God and walking in integrity, you don’t have to worry about people lying on you or making false accusations. One can laugh in the midst of what others are saying about you because walking in integrity won’t have you second guessing yourself or looking over your shoulder.
A way we can stay out of trouble is if we ask ourselves before we do something “is God going to be pleased with my decision?” and if we get bad feeling, chances are we shouldn’t be doing it. I know I’ve made dumb decisions thinking I would get away with it. Time and time again God has shown me that there are consequences to decisions we make.
I’m not saying that God isn’t merciful. He is full of grace and mercy and I’m a witness to it. But, we have to be more thoughtful and know that a wise man “counts the cost” (Luke 14:28) before acting out his thoughts.
Excerpt from the book Wisdom: Preventing Problems Before They HappenBuffer