A friend sent me this link in an email with the subject line that read: “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.”
Hilarious. I’m guessing the end result was not what this dog had in mind. Actually, I’m guessing the dog had very little in his mind at all. I imagine that Colt or Ranger or Montana (or whatever this dog’s name was) had one thought on his mind: “PLAY!” He saw a potential new friend running alongside the vehicle and wanted to join the game. So he jumped.
I don’t expect a lot of strategic planning from a dog, but I do expect more from myself. Still, I do things all the time that, once it is too late, I wish I hadn’t done at all. Have you ever been there? You grab hold of something only to feel regret later.
It happens every Thanksgiving. Turkey. Stuffing. Gravy. Pumpkin pie. Extra Cool Whip. [Sigh.] Regret. Nap. And then I do it again with leftovers.
Of course, eating too much once a year on a holiday is the easy stuff. We do things all the time that bring more pain and deeper regret into our lives.
The Bible warns us with questions like these: “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?” (Proverbs 6:27-28).
Most fail to realize that they are quoting the Bible when they say, “You’re playing with fire.” It’s a nice way of saying, “If you don’t stop what you are doing, you are about to bring some serious hurt into your life.”
Almost no one intends to bring pain into his life. We seek pleasure or escape or companionship or security. We think we are going to get something good, only to find out the thing we’ve chosen leads to something bad. That’s the problem with bad decisions: consequences. Our decisions matter. Even decisions we don’t realize that we are making.
I hear people all the time say, “This wasn’t something I planned; I didn’t mean to get into this mess.” Or, “I didn’t try to fall in love with him; it just happened.” Someone else might say, “I was going through a hard time, and this is what got me through it.”
Scripture warns us against this silliness: “The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless” (Proverbs14:15).
These verses are meant to wake us up to the fact that we are making decisions all the time. We can act in wisdom and live in way that honors God, or we can be fools who grab hold of something that ultimately brings us pain.
Provebs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
This is the dangerous thing: sin is rarely obvious. In our minds, sin appears as a logical option, a reasonable risk, an enticing opportunity, a moment of pleasure. But that is the short-sighted view. In the long run, sin = death. Every single time. There is no escape.
“Sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” These are God’s warnings to Cain in Genesis 4:7. Cain ignored the warning and suffered for it.
It makes me ask: Am I ignoring the warnings of God? Where is sin crouching at my door? Am I being ruled by sin? Or am I, through Christ, ruling over sin?
I will close with some reminders from the book of Romans:
…consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions…present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life…Sin will have no dominion over you…But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.