I Should Know Better

I Know Better

The other day I was trimming some trees and bushes around my yard.  My plan was to cut them all down and then go back and pick them all up. I went to the backyard to begin trimming a line of forsythias.  They have been there a while and they grow crazy.  The issue with trimming the forsythias is that other things have begun to grow in them.  I found a great blackberry bush growing right in the middle of them!  I also know, from past year’s experience, that poison ivy or oak or something poison likes to grow with them.  I wasn’t planning on touching the bushes, just yet, and so I was not wearing gloves.  As I was cutting, I found it difficult to trim some of the vines growing on the fence.  I thought I should go back to get my gloves but it was only a couple of vines and it took about three seconds to rip them down.  Fast forward to today and my fingers are itching and I must have rubbed by eyes because my eyes are also itchy.  I should have known better.  As someone used to say, you mess with the bull and you get the horns.
Why is it that we think we can get away with something if we just do it quickly or we limit our exposure?  For me, if I touch poison ivy, I am going to suffer with it for the next couple of weeks.  It does not matter if I simply touch it for a moment or two.  It does not matter if I carefully grab it with my finger tips.  For me, it does not matter if I wash my hands quickly afterwards.  I get the rash and the itchies.  You would think I would take better precautions, like wearing long sleeves and gloves, but by the time I am handling it again, the memories of the itchies has died down enough that I convince myself it is not worth sweating in long sleeves.  Just grab it quickly and wash thoroughly afterwards and it won’t be bad. Next thing you know, I am wringing my fingers together so violently that one day I am going to break a finger.  They itch so bad.
I don’t think I am alone in this insanity.  How often do we all think that we can limit our exposure to sin and we won’t be effected?  We find it easier to fudge the truth.  We justify the extra clicks with the mouse.  We allow our minds to linger on thoughts that we know are wrong.  We justify ignoring the obvious moving of the Spirit to contact someone.  Too many times during each day we make choices that we believe are easier but we know are not in line with what the Lord would have us do.  At the time, we believe it will make life easier. Sure, God is always merciful but he is also true to his word.  “You reap what you sow” (Gal 6:7) is a promise.  It is a hard and fast biblical principle.  There are always consequences for the wrong choices we make.  Even if you choose to only grab things for a quick moment.  If we are in Jesus, the eternal consequences are paid for, and God does show great mercy but it is also true that we will reap what we sow.  
The beautiful part of that principle is that it is also true if we sow good choices.  There is blessing when we choose to tell the truth. God is faithful to his Word when we choose to follow him.  When we choose to not click the mouse he brings peace and joy.  When we contact those he has placed on our hearts, he gives us fruit in ministry.  The more we believe that, the more we will desire to make the right choices.
Writing this blog is taking longer than usual.  I have to stop every sentence or two to scratch the itch.  It is really annoying.  It is also a reminder from my heavenly Father that we reap what we sow.  It is an act of love, from a heart of compassion, that he reminds me of such truths.  It reminds me that he desires for my life to be full of joy and peace.  He is not standing over me to tell me he told me so.  He is gently guiding me so that I can enjoy living a life in his presence.  I may think it is easier to fudge the truth but doing so will rob me of some of the joy that is mine.  Let me encourage you, life is fuller without the itchies.  Choose obedience.  Now my ears are itching!

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