Just One Bad Decision
If we look back into our past, we can all probably point to decisions that changed the course of our lives. Sometimes those decisions were good ones. For example, my choosing to attend Biola University cemented the course of my life in Christian service. Sometimes, however, we’ve made choices that negatively altered the future we had envisioned for ourselves. That first taste of liquor, that first peek at girlie magazines, and that first time fornicating led to a lifetime of alcoholism, porn addiction, and illicit relationships into which innocent babies were possibly born or aborted. Just one bad decision can ruin many wonderful possibilities.
Both the Old and the New Testaments are replete with examples of the outcome of bad decisions. An Old Testament example is Reuben, Israel’s firstborn son. I Chronicles 5:1 tells us, “Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel– he was indeed the firstborn, but because he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph, the son of Israel, so that the genealogy is not listed according to the birthright” (NKJ). (See Genesis 35:22 for details of this story.) Reuben’s one poor choice screwed up the inheritance he could have passed on to his sons, grandsons, and so on.
A New Testament example of the consequences of a bad decision is the story of Ananias and Sapphira. In the first Christian church established after the resurrection, the book of Acts tells us that the believers were so unified that they “were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common… Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need” Acts 4:32-35 (NKJ).
But the story continues with the poor choice of Ananias and Sapphira. “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet” Acts 5:1-2 (NKJ). When we read the rest of the story, we discover that the Holy Spirit revealed to Peter that Ananias and his wife were lying about the full price. No one forced this couple to sell the property, and they could have pitched in any amount they wanted. The bad choice was their lie and God took their lives because of it.
Let’s keep in mind today that our bad decisions – the poor choices we make – will not only have an effect on our present state of affairs (ala Ananias and Sapphira), but will also affect our future generations (ala Reuben). God forgives us, but consequences last.
©2010 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com.
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