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Miranda Writes: Purposely Sinning for a Long Time—What to Do? Part 1




by Omar Miranda



For the past three weeks we’ve talked about Abraham and Sarah and the kind of issues they had when they tried to live out God’s dream in their own way instead of waiting on God. We learned that God’s timing is always perfect, that God can be trusted, and that God wants to give you His dream to allow you to live an amazing and satisfying life to bring Him glory and to share His salvation with others.

This week, I’d like to share with you another Bible character named King David, and I want us to look at the topic of getting back to God when you’ve been sinning purposely for a long time.

But before I do that, I want to tell you a story: A man jumps out of a perfectly good airplane with no parachute because he doesn’t believe in gravity. But halfway down, he comes to his senses and realizes his foolishness and the error of his ways. So he promptly confesses and repents and learns his lesson and everything’s OK, right? I wish the story ended there, but it doesn’t. No, this story continues and there’s not a happy ending, is there? Can you guess how it ends? You say, “Come on, Omar, that’s such a silly story. I would never do that. I know better.” But don’t we do the very same thing many times in our daily lives? I mean, don’t we make bad decisions and realize what we’ve done only to find out that our choices have already set into motion a series of unstoppable consequences? And when we receive those consequences, don’t we many times get mad at ourselves . . . but more important, don’t we get mad at God? We mistakenly think that God should magically remove the consequences of our actions because we are deeply repentant of the actions that brought them about.

Galatians 6:7, 8 says: “You cannot fool God, so don’t make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant. If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life” (CEV).* We can control only our choices and not our consequences. We make our choices, and then our choices make us! We must make our choices with the end in mind. The desired outcome in our lives must dictate our choices and not the other way around! When we make bad choices, we repent and ask for forgiveness. We will always be forgiven by God, but we will often experience harsh, devastating, and unintended consequences. God clearly has the power to withhold consequences, but does not because He uses them to shape us and mold us and make us more and more like Him!

Yes, choices have consequences, and there are different types of consequences. There are natural consequences, such as hitting the pavement after jumping out of an airplane with no parachute, or failing a test or class after not taking the time to study. There are imposed consequences, such as jail time or being on restriction and having your cell phone, MP3 player, and computer time taken away. And there are unintended consequences, such as sexual assault, injury, or death because of drinking alcohol or taking drugs; pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, depression, anxiety, and feelings of suicide after sexual sin; or a multitude of other consequences that you couldn’t even have imagined.

Consequences affect lives in devastating and surprising ways; most specifically and markedly, they affect our relationships—first, they affect our relationship with God, then with ourselves, and finally, with others. The lessons learned by negative consequences are the type we wish we could learn before we feel the weight of them. But they are tough lessons indeed. In light of this realization, there are several important questions that need to be asked—and hopefully I will be able to answer them with some level of clarity. They are:

1. Are you going to confess and repent for the right reasons? Not just because you don’t like the weight of the consequences, but because you have broken your relationship with God?

2. Once you learn that tough lesson, what are you going to do? You have a choice of either giving up or recovering and returning to your previous “pre-bad-decision” state.

3. Are you going to be open and honest enough with others to share with them about your bad mistake and the consequences, so your mistakes and consequences aren’t “wasted”?

The Bible is filled with wonderful stories about Jesus, God, kings, patriarchs, prophets, and many people who did wonderful acts of faith and spread the good news of salvation to many. However, it is also filled with stories of depravity, evil, sin, and extreme failure. The story that I am about to share with you (we’ll get into it next week) is one of the latter and not the former. It is a story of lust, deception, murder, selfishness, depression, anxiety, guilt, shame, and evil. Forget action-adventure novels, just read the Bible! Anyhow, this is the story of King David’s sexual sin with Bathsheba, and all of the bad consequences that inevitably followed. But it’s also a story of hope, healing, confession, repentance, and God’s everlasting love, mercy, grace, and kindness!

I need you to understand that the Bible does not spare us any of the ugly or gory details of David’s story. This is done for a purpose; that purpose is to show us the real, lasting, and damaging consequences that consistent and blatant sin has on our relationships. Reading this story has never been easy for me. I spent many years making many bad choices and this could have been me—not the king part, but the crazy, out-of-control, homicidal, sexual addict part!

This story is real. If you are involved in some sort of purposeful, consistent sin as a practice of your daily life, stop it today! The longer you continue in your sin, the more calloused your conscience will become, the more people you will hurt, the more you’ll hurt yourself, and the more you’ll feel disconnected from God. God will have to let you experience exponentially worse consequences to get your attention! It is my prayer today that you will wake up, stop your sinning, recognize the pain you have caused God, yourself, and others by breaking your relationship with God, confess your sins, repent, and change your ways and begin moving toward reconciling all your relationships. I promise you, it’s the only true way to freedom, peace, power, joy, and contentment.
Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

    * Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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