How God Deals With the Consequences of Bad Behavior

How God Deals With the Consequences of Bad Behavior

HopelessIn this world we all face bad stuff. Sometimes others wound you, and those scars are painful. But what can be even more painful is when you face the consequences of your own bad behavior, your “wrong choices.” How does God deal with you then?

I think we all face things like this:

  • Over years of unhealthy living you became seriously overweight
  • You’re struggling with infertility because of an STD you contracted during an unwise “hookup”
  • After smoking for a long time you developed lung disease
  • The credit card debt you racked up buying unnecessary “stuff” is making you physically ill
  • You had an affair, and now your marriage is on life support

Sure, you could rationalize. Most of us do for a long time. And there are plenty of excuses you could come up with that would actually be quite true:

  • Your parents were fat, plus they never taught you how to eat healthy.
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How Would You Live If You Knew . . .

How Would You Live If You Knew . . .

Most of us really don’t know. And perhaps that’s a good thing. We don’t know when the next life-altering event will change things forever. If we did know, we’d probably either be too scared to do anything at all, or put off making any necessary changes until the last possible minute. But by not knowing we’re at risk of being unprepared. How would you live today if you knew for sure that it would all end tomorrow?

In truth, there are any number of things that could happen. And many of these things are likely; we just don’t know when they’re going to happen.

Would you live any differently if you knew that one of these things would happen soon?

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Christianity in One Word

Christianity in One Word

Denominations. Cultures. Traditional vs. contemporary. Grace vs. good works. Community. Just love everyone. What is Christianity really about anyway?

Controversy has been a part of Christianity ever since Jesus ascended back to heaven. It took some time for Jewish and Gentile believers to work through what was essential and what wasn’t. Persecution pressed the believers to carry the good news farther and farther until the then-known world was turned upside down. (Acts 17:6) Even so, nothing could stop them.

What was it about having been with Jesus that so changed the first believers? What was it that so burned in their souls? What was it that continued to compel the gospel forward in the face of both internal conflict and external opposition?

If you had to sum up Christianity in one word, what would it be?

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How to Say “I’m Sorry”

How to Say “I’m Sorry”

I’m not proud of it. I gave someone I didn’t know a difficult time, and I had to say “I’m sorry”

I was on call for a small hospital, and staying in a hotel nearby. Things went fine until the third morning. I rely heavily on a reliable internet connection wherever I am, but this particular morning I was unable to connect regardless of what I tried. My laptop, my smart phone, my tablet, my husband’s smart phone – the connection which had been just fine yesterday simply wasn’t working today.

I called the front desk and asked for assistance. I was told to take some steps to fix the problem. They didn’t work. The clerk came up to my room and tried to connect my smart phone to the internet using a process I knew wouldn’t work. My frustration was growing by the moment, and I became louder and ruder as time went on, letting her know how wrong the steps she suggested had been.

A short time later the front desk called again. The clerk had contacted IT support, and together they resolved the problem. I thanked her. The problem was on her end, not mine. I had been right all along!

And I had also been wrong.

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Six Things I’d Say To My Younger Self

Six Things I’d Say To My Younger Self

Advice-for-my-younger-selfI just had a birthday. At my age that’s both good news and bad news. I’m glad I’m still here. (As someone said, it sure beats the alternative!) But it does give an opportunity to look both backward and forward, and think about what I wish I had known when I was younger.

You can probably look back and see some things you wish you had known also. The purpose of looking back isn’t to be filled with regrets, but to let past experiences, mistakes, and pain become valuable for the future. In God’s economy nothing need be lost. Every problem, every missed opportunity, every negative experience, every bad choice can provide fuel to learn and grow. That’s just plain common sense, and it’s also the message of the gospel. In God’s hands all our problems can be transformed into character and beauty.

Here are some things I’d say to my younger self if I could:

  • Don’t worry about what other people think.
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