Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sometimes We are Victims. Sometimes we are Reapers.

The other day I was catching up on reading Facebook status updates. It was clear that many people on my friends list were going through hard times in life. Some of them were victims of other people's meanness. Some of them were victims of usual negative situations that they had no control over. Both of those scenarios were sad and brought great hurt to my heart as I read about all the pain my friends were going through. But if I were to be completely honest, I would have to admit that some of my friends were simply reaping what they had sown. The pain that some of them were feeling was the result of the poor choices they had made. I had to wonder what they really expected to happen as they continued down a path that could only lead to more pain.

I was reminded of what God said to Cain in Genesis 4:7, “If you do right, won't you be accepted? But if you do not do right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must master it.” This verse reminds us that as human beings we have a sinful nature that is always lurking just under the surface. If we do not stay focused on living right, then our actions will not be acceptable to God, to our friends, to our culture or even to ourselves.

I had to wonder why my friends who didn't do their homework or study for a test and then failed were mad at the teacher. They were the ones who made the choice not to study and now had to live with the results.

I had to wonder why my friends who cheated on their boyfriends or girlfriends (especially those that cheated more than once) got mad when their significant other broke up with them. We must learn from our mistakes and move on.

I had to wonder why my friends who were still living at home with their parents but ignored clear rules set by their parents got upset when their parents enforced the consequences for disobeying the rules. Why were they angry with their parents when they had made the choice knowing what would happen. Parents were not the "bad" guys. Parents gave warnings so we wouldn't have to experience pain from the consequences. That's what parents do!

I had to wonder why people who had legal issues which required them to have certain restrictions placed on them by the court would violate those restrictions knowing full well that the law would be brought to bear on them in full force. It just did not make sense to violate those court orders, yet some of my friends did.

I had to wonder why people who did not pay their bills were surprised when whatever they did not pay for was finally taken away or they were evicted. That is what happens when we don’t pay our bills.

It is baffling to me that people do not understand that if we want life to get better, then we must act better. Bad actions will never produce good results. We can blame others for our problems, or we can get our act together and start doing right. This is a hard lesson to learn, but one of the most important to grasp for a better life.

As I was thinking about the difficulties so many of us bring upon themselves, I was reminded of what Jesus said to Simon Peter in Luke 22: 31-32, “Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” When we do make mistakes in our lives, God has a plan for our lives that leads to forgiveness and restoration. Thank God there is a way out; we can find forgiveness through Jesus. Then we can begin to live right so we can avoid future pain. Living right is not always easy, but it can be done. God can help us as we keep our eyes on Him.

Dr. Terry W. Dorsett has served as a pastor, church planter, author and denominational leader in New England since 1993. He is the proud father of three adult children, a cancer survivor and the author of 8 books. You can find all of his books at http://www.amazon.com/Dr.-Terry-W.-Dorsett/e/B00405U4NY

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