Effects and affects

2 Samuel 24:10-14 – “And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.”

These were our verses for Sunday morning worship service. Our pastor spoke on choices. But I got something else out of it too – consequences. 

I’m sure when David decided to number the Israelites he probably didn’t think about consequences and their effect on others. I know when I sin, I rarely stop to think, “Hmm, will this affect anyone else but me?” 

Sin is like an spider web that reaches out and grabs everything. When a spider builds a web, it reaches out to many different plants and objects to create this deceptive device that sometimes even traps people. Spiders are just spinning their web trying to get something to eat – trying to survive. They don’t think that their little web will affect anyone but themselves. Boy, are they wrong. 

When David was confronted with his sin, he confessed it as wrong. Good call David. But then came the inevitable consequences – those nasty things that happen when we sin. 

God gave him a choice of his consequences and not a single one effected him alone. They all required people around him to shoulder the burden. 

You see, our sin reaches out and snags people around us. However, we are usually so self-centered that we don’t see how our choices, our decisions affect others. We are too worried about ourself to see the pain we cause in others. And on those rare occasions when we do recognize our outreach of consequences, it saddens us. It makes us realize the real effects of sin. 

Not very bright and cheery for a Monday morning. Sorry about that. But here’s the bright side – God is merciful. If you keep on reading to the end of the chapter, you will see God’s mercy abounding in David’s life. God decides to lessen the consequence because David finally got it. 

We are going to mess up this week. Guaranteed. But God’s grace is sufficient and His mercy is everlasting. When you realize your sin, confess it and shoulder the consequences. And when others feel the effects of your sin, sincerely apologize and get that potential rift out of the way. And remember, God is always good. 

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