Making bad choices in life is a given. It is not about whether I will. It is about when I will, and what I will do when I become aware of it.
How I think about my bad choices will determine my feelings and my behavior that follows.
One of my options will be to think that God is disappointed in me and that I should be ashamed of myself. If I believe this, I will feel shame and hide from God like Adam did when he defied God’s wishes for him and Eve in the garden.
If I focus too much on the “God is so disappointed in me,” I can easily end up believing that I can never be a “usable vessel” to God. I may still believe that I will go to Heaven when I die, but I will enter by “the skin of my teeth” and never hear those words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” I will wander through the rest of my life never attentive to the ongoing opportunities in front of me every day. I will just wait for death and anticipate crawling through the pearly gates with my head down, anticipating my inevitable “tongue lashing.”
I also have the option of ignoring or minimizing my bad choices and thinking, “It’s not that big of a deal.” Our bad choices do matter. It is called a “bad choice” because it hurts someone. It may hurt me. It may hurt someone else. And it might even hurt the way someone looks at God. If we have professed to be a follower of Jesus, others may look at our behavior and wonder whether or not being a Jesus-follower really makes a difference in a person’s life. Our choices matter.
Take a moment, if you would, and consider how a good parent or grandparent treats a child or grandchild when he/she makes a bad choice. Usually, that bad choice has been preceded with some kind of instruction or warning. The instruction or warning is given out of love and concern. It is based on a wish to protect, or a desire to teach some behavior that will have long-term positive consequences for that child.