Nah…Nothing Could Go Wrong

Timmy and skateboardRecently, I bought my son, Timmy, a child-sized skateboard.

If you’ve read my blog for very long, or followed me on Facebook, you’ve “met” him, and you know why buying him a skateboard means making sure he only uses it outside, where nobody and nothing else is around, and making sure our health insurance is up-to-date.

But after seeing one of his friends get a skateboard, and having the friend’s uncle teach the friend and my kids to use it, Timmy desperately wanted one of his own. So, because I am the kind of mom who figures that bumps, bruises, and even broken bones are part of childhood, I bought him one.

As with any milestone in my children’s lives (or even, for that matter, anything of even minor significance), I took a picture of Timmy holding his new skateboard, and I posted it on Facebook. The caption read, “Today, I bought Timmy a skateboard. What could possibly go wrong?”

Comments from my friends who know Timmy included, “Do you have a bed reserved at the hospital?” “Time to test the insurance,” and, “Hey, Mom, watch me jump off the porch! Are you watching, Mom? Look, Mom!”

We all know that childhood carries with it a certain amount of…well, injuries. Those are par for the course. Most of the time, they don’t stop us from allowing our children to do the activity in question. We might require them to take precautions (such as, in this case, a helmet and pads), but we give permission anyway, because the risk is overshadowed by the reward.

Following this strategy in terms of childhood activities is one thing. Being guided by it in terms of decisions about spiritual things is another matter, entirely.

If I let Timmy learn to skateboard, and he breaks an arm in the process, it’s no big deal. We’ll take him to the hospital and get the necessary treatment, and we’ll do whatever is necessary to help him accomplish his daily activities while he still has the cast on. But ultimately, arms heal, and he’ll be fine. Good as new.

If I make an unwise spiritual decision, however—if I’m single and I decide to marry someone I have doubts about; if I’m married and allow myself to become attracted to another man; if I decide that I don’t need to go to church anymore; if I choose a group of friends who supports my drinking to excess, or my using drugs—then I may very well wind up with permanent consequences.

That’s because spiritual scars are a lot more painful and take a lot longer to heal than physical scars.

Discounting the potential consequences of buying your child a skateboard—saying, “Even if he gets hurt, more than likely, he’ll heal completely and be just fine”—is one thing. But discounting the potential consequences of a spiritual decision? Saying, “That will never happen to me,” or “I’m a strong Christian; I can get away with that,” or “Who cares? I’ll take my chances”? Dangerous ground, indeed.

Satan loves it when he can get us to minimize or discount what might happen to us as the result of a risky spiritual decision. Look at Adam and Eve in the garden! What was the serpent’s (Satan’s) strategy? He convinced Eve, then Adam, to think that the consequences God had promised wouldn’t really happen to them.

Yes! Consequences can really happen to you (and to me). Yes! Even strong Christians fall when they never expected to. Yes! Playing Russian Roulette with sin’s consequences could very well result in disaster.

So don’t do it! Consider your spiritual health of far more importance even than your physical health. Trust the God Who’s already weighed the consequences of everything and told you to abstain from certain activities, rather than your own desire for excitement or your own ability to bead the odds.

Just as I expect Timmy to obey me because I know far more than he does about what is safe for him, so God expects us to obey Him because He sees the end from the beginning, whereas we don’t.

Let Him be the One to decide what’s safe for you.

Don’t just get out there with no helmet and no padding and hope you’re okay.

Genesis 3:4-5—And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (KJV)

1 Corinthians 10:12—Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

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