When my children lived at home, they were all of the time getting into trouble for something. I’m sure many of you can relate to that statement. Sometimes it might be a tiny issue like not making their bed, and then there were those times when it was a big issue like getting a speeding ticket.
It didn’t matter how big or small the offense was; any time their actions weren’t acceptable, they had to pay the consequences. That meant they might have to go back into their bedrooms and make the bed over until it was right if they didn’t do it correctly the first time. It also meant that they were grounded and had their car taken away from them if they got a speeding ticket.
As parents, Joe and I tried (sometimes unsuccessfully) to drive home the message that “Actions have Consequences.” We told them that they had to make their own decisions in life but to try and weigh out their options and think about the consequences of their actions. My son decided to take a different stance, and he took the “ask for forgiveness instead of permission” approach. Needless to say, he faced a lot of consequences when he was growing up.
The truth of the matter is that ALL actions have consequences. It can be the decision to turn left or right as you pull out of your driveway. You will never know what might have happened, good or bad, had you turned the other direction. Even the fact that you are reading this post is a decision you made, and there will be consequences from it.
When I hear the word consequences, I tend to think of punishment. The word means a result or effect of an action or condition. It means the result or effect of your action, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a bad result or a punishment.
When the kids came home with a good report card, the consequences of their actions were to be rewarded. They put time and effort into getting good grades, so they got a treat, not a punishment. If we went to the grocery store and they behaved, I might have taken them to the park to play, or maybe they got to get an ice cream cone. Their consequences for their actions were a reward that hopefully reinforced good behavior in the future.
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
So, what are the consequences that our daily actions might produce? What are the choices you make as you start the morning? For Lent, I decided to start my mornings with my morning devotional. I refuse to open emails, messages, etc. until I have finished my devotionals. When I wake up before the rest of the house, it is easy to grab a hot cup of tea, settle into a comfortable chair, and spend time with the Lord. However, if Joe is awake, Lucy wants to be fed, or if my daughter’s cat is downstairs meowing his head off wanting food, it is not as easy. I tried to ignore all of the commotions around me and do my devotional first, but the consequences were that I was distracted and I wasn’t absorbing the information. Instead, I feed the cat, feed the dog, and take her out to potty, and then I’ll settle down when I can concentrate.
Joe has gotten used to me doing my devotions the first thing in the morning. He will start to talk to me and then stop and ask me if I’m still doing my devotional. I’ll nod and go back to my devotional. Big or small, the consequences of my actions are that he sees me doing my devotional consistently.
As the day goes on, life starts to get hectic and busy. But, we can still do actions that have positive consequences. The other day, I was trying to pull out into traffic, and the line was long, and no one was willing to let me pull out in front of them. It was irritating that they were all so consumed with themselves that they couldn’t let one person in front of them. Later that day, I was driving along, and I noticed a jeep in the middle lane trying to merge into the lane. People kept passing him by, and I was reminded of my earlier experience, so I slowed down and let him in front of me.
12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Even though the earlier actions of others hadn’t been pleasant, they still ended up having a positive consequence. You don’t have to follow the lead of others and act like them. You can choose the type of consequence you want. Treat others in the way that you want to be treated.
As you go about your day, look around and think about the choices that you are making. I need to put down the donut since I know the consequence that it will give me. Lol! Will your actions have a positive consequence or a negative one?
To God Goes The Glory!
Have A Blessed Day!