The Cathedral Quartet used to sing a song entitled “Sin Will Take You Farther”. The chorus goes like this:
Sin will take you farther than you wanna go
Slowly but wholly taking control
Sin will leave you longer than you wanna stay
Sin will cost you far more than you wanna pay
Every time I hear that song I think; “How TRUE are those words!” And every single day we come face to face with seemingly small and insignificant choices. Many of these choices are made on the spur of the moment – yet when we make the wrong choice – it ruins our morning, afternoon, evening – or even our entire day.
I’ll use myself as an example here.
Take for instance traffic in Atlanta. Every morning as I drive to my office I’m faced with the issue of traffic in Atlanta. It seems not a morning goes by that someone doesn’t do something that causes me to make a decision….Do I get mad and yell at them? Or do I simply ignore their actions and continue on my way? For example – there is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t see someone run a red light. I have never seen so many people run red lights as here in Atlanta. People cut you off in traffic, won’t let you make a turn or pull out, and on and on the list goes.
And we make the argument – “Well, they shouldn’t do that!” And, that may be true, however, we’re not responsible for other people’s actions – we’re only responsible for our actions and reactions.
Sadly, many times I have let myself get all worked up at someone for cutting me off or something – and so by the time I get to the office I’m frustrated and in a bad mood. That is a sin that cost me far more than it was worth. Does my getting angry at someone for cutting me off in traffic, for running a red light, or some other infraction make the incident go away? No. Does it do any good whatsoever? No! So, getting angry at people for their wrong actions actually costs us more trouble because of the way it can destroy our day and cause us to make wrong choices ourselves.
Matthew 5:39 tells us; “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” What that basically means is when someone does something wrong to us – just ignore their actions. Don’t let it affect your actions or reactions.
Paul tells us in Romans 12:17-18; “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Losing our tempers and getting angry because someone does something we don’t like or we feel is wrong – gives us no right as a Christian to get angry and retaliate. Paul says – “live peaceably with all men”. In other words – don’t let YOUR actions be what brings strife. As I already mentioned, we are not responsible for the way other people act or react – be we ARE responsible for the way WE live.
I used the illustration of traffic, but this also applies to every aspect of our life. The waitress messes up or order – so we fly off the handle and yell at her. The guy at the paint store didn’t get our paint color mixed exactly right – so we throw a fit. Every action and reaction we have is a testimony of Jesus Christ. If we are truly Christians, we are to live exactly like Jesus would live.
So, the next time you start to get angry or upset at someone for doing something – stop and consider how much your “reaction” is going to cost you. It’s NOT worth it! It’s MUCH better just to smile and continue on your way.
“…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:…” (Phil 4:11). It’s not our place to get revenge or angry over life’s injustices. If there is any evil to be repaid – that is entirely up to God to handle. We are here to be lights in this world of darkness, and every time we lose our temper or fly off the handle at someone our light flickers and loses it’s brightness.
Sin will cost you far more than you wanna pay. Don’t make the wrong choice! Carefully think about the way you act and react towards others!