Truth And (Not Or), Consequences
I had several sports-related injuries in my 20’s. For example, I rolled my
ankles a few times in college playing basketball, etc. It got so bad that I could be standing around talking, shift my weight the wrong way, and hit the floor like a ton of bricks.
I had to wear supports on my ankle and wrap it extensively for over a year until it healed.
Then, after graduation, I was playing volleyball on the beach in Hawaii with some coworkers when I decided to go up for a spike and forgot that I was on sand. When my foot shifted and slid under me, I wrenched my lower back and experienced shooting pain that was so bad, I couldn’t stand up. I crawled to the sideline and spent the next day in bed. I couldn’t dress myself or walk upright for days. My poor wife had to care for me like an elderly patient.
This was so bad that even years later, it would pop-out on me at the weirdest times. I'd be bending over to pick-up something and, BANG! I'd be doubled over and immobile--sometimes for days.
SIN IS LIKE INJURY
Sin is like that. Sometimes even though we're forgiven by God and others, the consequences continue. If I cut-off your left thumb, you'll likely remain left-thumb-less even if you forgive me. If I cut off my own left thumb, the same will be true. God could recreate my thumb--causing me to grow a new one, but in my experience, He often does not.
Ultimately, only God can answer that, but there are a few things I know for sure:
1. God is not obligated to erase all of the consequences of our stupidity or selfishness. Forgiving me and giving me eternal life is more than enough.
2. Sometimes, having a residual effect is a good deterrent against future bad decisions. This is true for us and for others who know us as well.
3. Sometimes the weaknesses resulting from the consequence of sin in our world cause us to draw close to and rely on God. Paul said, "For when I am weak...then I am strong (2 Cor 12:10b)."
The truth is more valuable than consequences or the absence of those consequences. Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32)." Trusting Jesus is more important and being pain or discomfort-free.
So the next time you face a residual consequence of your own sin or that of someone else--focus on the truth in it all, the opportunity to know Jesus and walk free from similar mistakes. It won't take away the pain--but it might bring you blessing nonetheless.
To that end,