Mistakes…

I make mistakes. YOU make mistakes, and everyone who has ever lived, with one exception, Jesus Christ, has made mistakes. Making mistakes, or whatever you want to call them, poor choices, bad decisions, is part of our fallen human-nature. Jesus Christ, although He shared our human body, did not share our fallen human-nature. He alone was the sinless Son of God.

Consequences…
ALL mistakes have consequences! The consequences for some mistakes may not be serious or long-lasting, but the consequences for some mistakes may even be disastrous and very long-lasting. Consider the person who has sex with someone they are not married to. What if they contract a sexually-transmitted-disease, such as Hepatitis, Syphilis or HIV? Yes, some of those diseases can be treated, maybe even cured, but there are no guarantees, particularly if it is not discovered until it has started doing its dirty-work.

How about marrying the “wrong” person? Some prospective-spouses may seem “nice” on the surface, but turn “ugly” later in the relationship. Domestic-violence and sexual-abuse are but two of the “ugly” manifestations that they were the “wrong” person. My dad was a very domineering man, so my mom had to “tread-lightly” when he was around because he also had a very violent-temper. Mom put up with that and his many affairs throughout their long marriage.

I am living where I am because I made a very-bad decision to marry the “wrong-person“, the woman who left me for another man less than six-weeks after we got married. Yes, that decision, that mistake, has had, and continues to have lasting-consequences, because since she has NOT divorced me, I am NOT free to remarry if I so choose. BTW, even though I have been divorced twice, I have never been the one to file for divorce, and no, I am not going to file for divorce this time either. SO, I continue to live with the consequences of that bad-decision. Unfortunately, I have “looked for love in all the wrong places” more than once. Even though some “good” has come out of my “bad” decision, that doesn’t make my decision any less “bad“. It just proves that “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) is still as valid as it was the day it was written.

If we didn’t learn…
If we didn’t learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes until we DO learn from them, which may be too late to correct them. Yes, I have “been-there, done-that, got the T-shirt“, too many times. Yes, sometimes I am a slow-learner. How about you?

My neighbor-gal is a slow-learner. Some of the things that she has done have had serious-consequences. She has had her car wrecked because it was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Her life has been threatened, she has been detained by the police, but she kept going back to the same bar (hell-hole), because that is where she likes to watch “her” team play football. She has been assaulted and beaten-up twice because she was at the wrong-place at the wrong-time. Will she never learn to stay away from those places?

Recently she went to meet a man who she had only met online, who has a dubious-background and just got out of prison. She thought that he had “turned-his-life-around“, so “he deserved another chance“. When she finally got home, she was dopey, half-naked and hurting badly from being beaten-up. She said that she didn’t meet the man, and that she had gotten assaulted at a service-station, because had she turned around before she got to where he was staying and come straight home, she should have been home five-hours earlier. She can’t account for at least five hours between when she should have been home and when she got home. I suspect that someone at the service-station slipped something in her drink, and after it knocked her out, they started ripping her clothes off to rape her, because when she got home, she was missing one of her shoes and her shirt, and her pants were ripped up. Maybe she woke up during the sexual-assault and fought him off, at which time he beat her up. Things were still pretty fuzzy the next afternoon. This isn’t the first time she has “looked for love in all the wrong places“.

Better people…
If we DO learn from our mistakes, we MAY become better people, and hopefully resolve to not make those mistakes again. I say “May become better people“, because if all we are trying to do is avoid the consequences of our mistakes, we may not learn anything but “consequence-avoidance“. We need to learn the life-lesson as well.

Spiritual-consequences…
Even though a person may use “protection” or only have sex with “safe-partners”, thus protecting them from the physical-consequences of their sin, they can’t escape the spiritual-consequences. Casual and extramarital sex does have spiritual-consequences, because the couple isn’t just “swapping body-fluids”; they are joining themselves to each other in a much-deeper sense. They are becoming “one-flesh” as they have sex and if they move on to their next “conquest”, they have left a piece of themselves behind, a piece they will never regain.

Dr. Tim Keller, in his article entitled “The Gospel and Sex”, describes sex as a “covenant renewal ceremony for marriage, the physical reenactment of the inseparable oneness in all other areas—economic, legal, personal, psychological—created by the marriage covenant.” He continues “Sex renews and revitalizes the marriage covenant.”

Sex is meant to affirm that two people “belong to each other.”, and that trashes any notion that sex is just “swapping body-fluids”. That is one of the reasons divorce and bereavement are so difficult, because both spouses are losing a part of themselves, a part they will never recover.

My own experiences…
If anyone is tempted to put me on some “pedestal”, please don’t. My life has been far too “messy” for that. I am only a sinner saved by Grace. I have had sex with women I wasn’t married to, both in and out of marriage. I have experienced the spiritual-consequences of my sin, and they aren’t “pretty”. I have been married four times, widowed once, divorced twice, and I haven’t seen my “wife” in almost three years. She is still carrying around a piece of my heart; a piece she ripped from my chest when she moved out to go live with another man.

Final thoughts…
There is only one mistake that has eternal-consequences, not placing your faith and trust in Christ alone for your salvation, but I have GOOD NEWS:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

In Christ,
Steve

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