Military Salute from iStockI know a young man who, having run afoul of the law in a city over four hours from his home, has had to appear before a judge twice; only to be told that the court was postponing his trial date. In the meantime, his life is on hold. He cannot start a job; nor can he start attending college. He has no idea what his punishment will be: Jail time, fines, public service, or a combination of all three. In short, failure to face the consequences of his actions is inhibiting his life.

It occurs to me that the same can be said for many Christians. We have sinned and refused – in one way or another – to face the consequences of our sin. The result? Our failure to face the consequences of our actions is inhibiting our life in Christ. Some would go so far as to say we are giving our enemies the right to deceive and oppress us.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe, as the Good Book says, that Jesus Christ has paid the price for our sin, sins, and the sin. However, this does not change the fact that we reap what we have sown. We do have planks in our eyes that must be dealt with. We must lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus laid hold of us. We must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

So, how does this happen? How do we avoid facing the consequences of our actions? Some have developed doctrines that promote the ineffectualness of sins committed by the born again believer. Others assign religious works as the means of absolution from a Christian’s sins. For me, the problem has been equally systemic, but different.

Having been given the gift to understand and apply process, I spent a substantial part of my Christian life using that gift to work myself around the consequences of my sins. When presented with the opportunity to face the consequences of a sin – opportunities to confess, ask for forgiveness, offer restitution, and seek restoration – I would find a way around the more difficult moments.

The gift God had given me was a curse. I was not able to live the life He had ordained; the life for which He had paid so great a price. I was living an abundantly inhibited life.

In my defense, most of this happened subconsciously. I was deceived. In His mercy, God would not have it. In His grace, He set me free. He has used people and circumstances to teach me that His process does not require my workarounds. I have learned that a loving Father chastens, rebukes and even scourges His children. I have learned that the freedom is worth the pain.

Of course, your story may be different. This may not apply to you. You may not hold to doctrines that enable you to dismiss the consequences. You may not even have the gift of process. But that is really not the point.

The point is… well, the point is a question: Are you missing the abundant life that the Lord has promised because you are unwilling to face the consequences of your sins?

It is my prayer and hope that you will be encouraged by the following passages. They have been freedom and life to me.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

Please let me know how I might help you in this regard. In the meantime: Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might; for He is working in you to will and do to His good pleasure.

Humbly yours and forever His,