The Law of Consequence
“Do not be deceived…A man reaps what he sows.” Gal 6:7 NIV
Your child says, “I didn’t mean to break the window.” You reply, “But you threw the rock that broke it, right? So you’ll pay for repairing it.” And when your child pays, he or she learns a principle that could save them from costlier consequences down the road. God, who is a loving heavenly Father, invented the law of consequence—for our benefit. Consider this: (1) Your decisions determine the kind of harvest you reap. Adam and Eve got to choose whether or not to obey God, but they didn’t get to escape the consequences of their choice. “A man reaps what he sows.” You’re not the pawn of a punitive god, malevolent cosmic force, the devil, or luck. You have been given the power to choose right or wrong. (2) Your decisions impact others. Hurting them may not have been your intention, but often it’s collateral damage you can’t avoid. After conquering Jericho, Achan stole some of the spoils, causing Israel’s defeat at Ai. Later Joshua challenged him, saying, “Why have you brought this trouble on us?” (Jos 7:25 NIV). Before you act, you need to consider who will get hurt by the fallout from your decision. Will it be your children, spouse, friends, church, etc.? (3) Forgiveness may not cancel the consequences of your decision. God hears your confession, freely forgives you and expunges your record, but the harvest law may still remain in effect. “David confessed…‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ Nathan replied, ‘Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you…[but] your child will die” (2Sa 12:13-14 NLT). So if you don’t want to reap, don’t sow.