Short-term Gain

She (Jerusalem) defiled herself with immorality and gave no thought to her future.
(Lamentations 1:9a NLT)
Our culture is becoming increasingly consumed by immediate gratification.  We like fast food, get rich quick schemes, quickie divorce, having things before we can afford them.   We make choices for instant satisfaction, yet, ignoring the long-range consequences of those decisions.  If we live in this manner, we learn that dwelling only on short-term gain always leads us to long-term pain.
Israel had this problem.  They continually made choices without considering what it meant for them in the future.  The Bible teaches us that sin is fun for a season (Hebrews 11:25 KJV).  To choose to do something for a limited amount of pleasure which brings about an unlimited amount of suffering, is irrational, but this is the problem; sin is irrational.  Transgression is brought about by deception in one form or another.  We believe either that God does not really believe what he says about sin, or if he does, he cannot do anything about it. Both these assumptions misrepresent the character of God.  Israel believed a lie about God and started to live outside of the moral constraints that God had given them.  This is the same strategy the Devil used in the Garden of Eden.  Satan brought an accusation against God (Genesis 3: 4-5 NLT) that sowed the seeds of doubt.  Eve believed the lie and acted irrationally.  You will never obey someone you do not trust.
Are you believing a lie about God?  If you are, it will lead you to make choices without considering their future consequences.  When tempted, do we consider its implications for us, our family, and Christ himself?  If we do, we are less likely to have long-term pain at the expense of short-term gain.

Image used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing

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