A hallmark of the youngest generation is an inability to understand and appreciate the consequences of their actions. How often have you heard “I don’t know” when you ask a student or youth why they did or did not do something? I teach youth both in the Church and substitute teach at a local Christian school. It is the standard response I receive. The problem with this response is that bad thinking leads to bad feeling which leads to bad living. Satan desires for Christians to turn off their minds and just feel. Follow your heart. You know, that deceitfully wicked part of you that asks, “Did God really say X?” That fallen part of you that says, “He is withholding something good from me. He surely cannot be trusted.” God desires you love him with everything in you which includes your mind (Deut. 6:4-5; Matt. 22:37).
One area where consequences need to be thought of is sexual temptation/immorality. People so flippantly give themselves away these days and they are utterly shocked when they end up unfulfilled, dissatisfied, and disenchanted. There’s a reason why sexual sin is so destructive. Proverbs 6:32 says, “He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.” Adultery is a result of a lack of good sense and leads to diminishment. You are diminished when you succumb to temptation instead of fleeing. After letting the Corinthians know that you cannot be a true follower of Christ and a lover of loose women known as prostitutes, Paul the apostle writes, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Cor. 6:18-20)” Sexual sin is like spiritual leprosy. You rip your soul to shreds and you are not even aware of the pain until it is out of control. Believers are temples of the Holy Spirit. God dwells with you on a daily basis. Sexual sin is a sin against your own body and against the God of love who has graciously covenanted with you. This ought not to occur. I recently came across an article by Bible pastor/scholar Randy Alcorn. He is the author of such works as Heaven and If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil. He seeks to offer some possible consequences of sexual sin. Use these brothers and sisters to fight the good fight of the faith and ward off the fallen desires that seek to tear you away from the joy of Christ.
- Grieving the Lord who redeemed me.
- Dragging his sacred name into the mud.
- One day having to look Jesus, the Righteous Judge, in the face and give an account of my actions.
- Following in the footsteps of these people whose immorality forfeited their ministries and caused me to shudder: (list names)
- Inflicting untold hurt on Nanci, my best friend and loyal wife.
- Losing Nanci’s respect and trust.
- Hurting my beloved daughters, Karina and Angie.
- Destroying my example and credibility with my children, and nullifying both present and future efforts to teach them to obey God (“Why listen to a man who betrayed Mom and us?”).
- If my blindness should continue or my wife be unable to forgive, perhaps losing my wife and my children forever.
- Causing shame to my family (“Why isn’t Daddy a pastor anymore?”).
- Losing self-respect.
- Creating a form of guilt awfully hard to shake. Even though God would forgive me, would I forgive myself?
- Forming memories and flashbacks that could plague future intimacy with my wife.
- Wasting years of ministry training and experience for a long time, maybe permanently.
- Forfeiting the effect of years of witnessing to my father and reinforcing his distrust for ministers that has only begun to soften by my example but that would harden, perhaps permanently, because of my immorality.
- Undermining the faithful example and hard work of other Christians in our community.
- Bringing great pleasure to Satan, the enemy of God and all that is good.
- Heaping judgment and endless difficulty on the person with whom I committed adultery.
- Possibly bearing the physical consequences of such diseases as gonorrhea, syphilis, Chlamydia, herpes, and aids; perhaps infecting Nanci or, in the case of aids, even causing her death.
- Possibly causing pregnancy, with the personal and financial implications, including a lifelong reminder of my sin.
- Bringing shame and hurt to these fellow pastors and elders: (list names)
- Causing shame and hurt to these friends, especially those I’ve led to Christ and discipled: (list names)
- Invoking shame and life-long embarrassment upon myself.
What we do with our bodies’ matters and there are consequences for our actions. Flee. Flee for your eternal life (Matt. 5:27-30).