“Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:23–24, ESV)
He drove out the man. Perhaps one of the more painful lessons of life is this: God-sent consequences come to each choice we make. Our problem seems to be that we do not sit down first and “count the cost,” as Jesus told us to. And, all too often, when the harsh winds of reality begin to blow, we resort to our emotions … to no avail.
Understanding God means that we have to deal with the eternal law of harvesting what we plant into our lives. Save money and put it into a good interest-bearing account for many, many years and you will eventually have a large sum for retirement. But, the reverse is also true. If we don’t save money, we won’t have retirement money.
While this seems so simple, it is a hard concept to put into practice, if the lives of most of the people we know are any example. Family, friends, and even our foes seem not to grasp the New Testament concept: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7, ESV)
Nowhere is this truth more painful than when it comes to the realm of the spiritual. “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:8, ESV)
Our choices breed much larger consequences than our initial actions. Today, if you are struggling under a storm of your own making, it’s time to stop. Stop making the choices that brought the rain and the wind. Stop choosing with your emotions.
Start making better choices. Start thinking before you spend, before you get involved in that relationship, before you quit that job, or before you say those words. Turning around our troubles can be as simple as making better choices. I said, “as simple as.” I didn’t say it would be easy. But, I can guarantee it will be worth it.
Turn-Around Tuesdays are designed to bring hope and help, insight and encouragement to those of us who are simply overwhelmed by the flood of problems life throws at us. No one is immune to trials and troubles, but God has a way of lifting us from life’s torrents. Each short thought is written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and comes from his life-journey with the God who never leaves us or forsakes us. He welcomes your comments below.