A young teen who was constantly getting into trouble always apologized when his parents confronted him. No matter how much he hurt his parents with his previous wrong-doing, he would soon turn around and do something else wrong–knowing he would be forgiven.
Finally, his dad took him out to the garage for a talk. Dad picked up a hammer and pounded a nail into the garage wall. Then he gave his son the hammer and told him to pull out the nail.
The boy shrugged, grabbed the hammer, and yanked out the nail.
“That’s like forgiveness, Son. When you do something wrong, it’s like pounding in a nail. Forgiveness is when you pull the nail out.”
“Okay, I get it,” said the boy.
“Now take the hammer and pull out the nail hole,” his dad replied.
“That’s impossible!” the boy said, “I can’t pull it out.”
As this story illustrates and King David’s life proves, sin carries consequences. Even though David was forgiven, his adultery and murder left scars and led to family problems (2 Samuel 12:10). This sobering truth can serve as a warning for our lives. The best way to avoid the lingering damage of sin is to live a life of obedience to God. –Dave Branon
A Prayer: Thank You for being slow to anger and filled with compassion. May I not presume upon Your mercy by assuming there will be no consequences for my sin. Help me to confess and then to sin no more. Amen.
(Taken from Our Daily Bread, an entry entitled “Lingering Damage”.)