Facing the Consequences

Jeremiah 4:18
Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.

Our society likes to play the blame game. People refuse to be held accountable for their own actions, blaming circumstances or someone else for their troubles. There is a lessening sense of right and wrong and a greater sense that everyone can do whatever they please as long as it seems right to them. This kind of thinking opposes God’s truth, and these kinds of attitudes will eventually catch up to those who subscribe to them.

The Bible shows us many examples of people’s actions bringing consequences. God’s own chosen people are the ultimate demonstration of this and reveal both the heart of man and the heart of God. His people were rebellious. They had forsaken Him and chosen other gods to worship. They had gone along with the evil ways of the people around them. But God’s judgment was not immediate. He had given them chance after chance to turn back, but they had made their choice. So God had to bring His judgment upon them.

Perhaps the most discomforting truth of this verse is that our wickedness comes from our own hearts. There is no outside source that injects evil into us and makes us do wrong things. It comes from within each of us because of the sin nature we all possess. Our inherent wickedness is displeasing and unpleasant. And our deliberate sins against God are a bitter thing. Left on our own, we would never be able to overcome the sin that dwells in each of us. But Jesus is the conqueror over sin and gives us hope. Sin has been defeated. And while we still sin while we live in our fleshly bodies in a sin-scarred world, we have our Lord’s help to gain victories in our lives today.

The truth is, our choices bring consequences. And while God is often patient and longsuffering toward us and He is very merciful, sometimes there comes a point where our actions bring His judgment upon us. Let’s be willing to accept responsibility for our actions and face any consequences with grace and repentance in our hearts. God is not eager to punish every sin in a harsh way. He would much rather we realize what we have done, forsake it, and turn back to Him.