Your Actions Have Consequences

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion states: “For every action there is a reaction.” I will not try to explain what this means in physics and in terms of the motion of things, but I will use it as a metaphor to spirituality.

In Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions, this concept is referred to as karma , which basically means that you get what you give. In other words, “Whatever you intentionally do to others, a similar thing will happen to you in the future.”

When it comes to the consequences of our actions, the Bible is very clear. Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” We also read in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death.”

Consequences are outcomes, either negative or positive, of our actions. There are always consequences to our actions or lack of action. Alfred Montepart said: “Nobody ever did or will escape the consequences of his choices.”

Job said: “As I have observed those who plough evil and those who sow trouble reap it.” (Job 4:8) In Numbers 32:33 we read: “You may be sure that your sin will find you out.”

Whenever we sin, there are consequences. They may be spiritual or physical or both. A good example is Adam and Eve. God said to them: “But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17)

In the next chapter, we read about the consequences of their disobedience. The consequences were both physical and spiritual.

Your actions or decisions may affect others, and those effects may change the world around you. Sin will affect a person’s life and his relationship with God. King David spoke about the consequences of his sins in Psalm 40:12: “For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.”

The effects of David’s sins were many. They brought death to five people: Uriah, David’s newborn son and, later on, Absolom, Amnon and Adonijah.

Sin affects the spiritual and physical well-being of the person who has sinned, but it also effects his or her relationship with God and with others. The Bible says that sin separates us from God. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)

For every choice you make, for every action you take, there will be a reaction or a consequence, be sure of that. A bad decision may bring disappointment. It may create unbearable responsibilities and destroy relationships. Good decisions, on the other hand, will bring blessings and help us set obtainable goals that will enhance relationships and life in general, even in difficult situations.

However, we generally want to do things our own way, and so we ignore or avoid the advice of loved ones and we go ahead with decisions that may effect our entire future. And, more often than we care to admit, God is completely left out of our decision making.

When you are about to make a choice, think of the consequences of that decision and ask yourself, “How will this decision affect me and those around me. Am I doing it for my pleasure and convenience only? Will the ripple effect be good or bad? Am I asking for God’s will to be done or only my will, regardless of the consequences?”

Before you take that final step and act on your decision, stop and pray and ask God to help you, and then listen for the answer. The answer may come right away or you may have to wait for it. You may or may not like the answer. If you don’t like the answer, you may choose to ignore it, but please think of the consequences first.

Pastor Joseph Hovsepian