It is my belief that no believer wants to willingly sin. But when we do, we often think about how it has affected our relationship with God. We are ashamed of our actions and feel dirty inside. We, of course, pray for forgiveness and move on with our lives by trying to live according to God’s will. But what we often don’t take into account is the fallout that can, and often does occur, because of our sin. A good example of earthly fallout due to sinful behavior can be seen in 2 Samuel 12:11-12. This is when King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, which resulted in her getting pregnant. If that wasn’t enough, he made sure that her husband was killed in battle to cover up his sin. But God was not happy. Through the prophet Nathan, God says:
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give the to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.”
God also mentions that the sword will never depart from David’s house because of this sin – meaning that there will always be warring factions with his reign. And to top it off, the son that David and Bathsheba had together died as a result of the hand of the Lord. You see, though we may not know it, our sins may have greater consequences than we think. Yes, we grieve the Spirit when we sin, and our relationship with God is broken until we repent. But even beyond that, there are often consequences that we have to live with on earth; consequences like divorce, unwanted pregnancy, loss of a relationship, sickness, and a whole host of other things. I can’t say that there is always an earthly consequence, that we will always see the consequences or even that we’ll draw the connection between our sin and those consequence, but more often than not, I would argue that there is some earthly consequence that goes beyond our shame and guilt.
There is more at stake when we sin than we may realize. You may think that your sin only affects you, or that it doesn’t really hurt anyone, but quite often there is some earthly fallout that goes along with the spiritual fallout. And that fallout can directly or indirectly effect someone’s life, negatively influence your behavior, or even change the course of your life. So, I challenge you to keep that in mind when you are tempted. Personally, I think it is bad enough to disappoint our God, but when there are even more consequences that may follow, that makes staying away from sin that much more desirable.