Shortly after he married, Scott McDonald woke-up twenty-thousand dollars in debt. The creditors were coming after him after Madison Avenue’s siren song promised his new bride “nothing down and no interest until next Spring.” Responding to her new credit card, she learned several verses of this enticing lyric and suddenly spent more than she intended and faced an angry groom.
How many verses of this pop tune do you know? It is a temptation we all know. It comes with the high price of low living. The Wiseman of the Bible concluded: “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life (Proverbs 4:23 TEV). Impulse buying requires no thinking and little planning. “Buying on impulse” infected King David with this virus when he saw how attractive Bathsheba was and allowed that impulsive thought to become a purchase. As a result, he spent the rest of his life making time payments (2 Samuel 11:2-5). He paid a high price for his low living.
Impulse buying introduces the idle minds to the pleasures of the moment. These are often associated with having fun and living pleasurably, like those endured by Mr. & Mrs. McDonald. They accompany the idle mind that throws preplanning to the wind in favor of an impulsive purchase on the spur of the moment. Mrs. McDonald had no real intention of saddling her new husband with $20,000 worth of debt. But it happened. Fate of the gods: it wasn’t really her fault.
So with David: on impulse he committed adultery. That led to murder. Her husband was one of David’s most loyal military defenders, as happens so often. David’s impulse failed to tabulate the hidden charges of his rendezvous with Bathsheba. She produced a son—unexpected and unwanted. Son Absalom immediately became David’s potential heir to the throne (2 Kings 12:24). Son, Amon later raped his sister Tamar only to be ambushed and killed by Absalom. These hidden charges brought compound interest hidden internally. Consequently, David never got out of debt.
Absalom eventually conspired against his father by attempting a political coup to overthrow his father’s rule. David rejected the sinfulness of his impulsive behavior but was unable to prosper. Only later he admitted his sin, but not until he experienced total exhausted and undeniable anguish, drained of all physical and emotional reserves (Psalm 32:3-4).
Consider the Florida Lawyer insisting on establishing a new free-diving record off the coast of Miami. Aided by an artificial lung strapped to his back, he plunged the 306 feet required to surpass the record of those returning alive. Dropping to 350 feet, then to 400; he surpassed the French diver that gave his life attempting the record.
Not satisfied with returning to the surface, the lawyer pushed deeper—550 feet. Instruments show he hesitated but continued descending. He set a new record but lost his life. Some think he may have succumbed to “the rapture of the depths,” as the French call it, but no one knows for certain why he did not return to the safety of his ship
Like the Lawyer descending to the depths, we become captivated by sins both dangerous and obvious. How do we become so insensitive to the prick of conscience that we become drunk on our good feelings, intoxicated by the special love we have discovered, drunk on our adulterous emotions that no one else understands?
With no down payment and no interest to pay; we, like the Forida lawyer, we lose our life eventually. So it is with every woman ever raped or abused, and with every child ever molested. So it is with every alcoholic in the drunk tank, with every greedy grasp for lust or power. So it is with every victim of gossip, thievery, or idleness. Sin never brings a bargain!
Victor Morlan recalled his day off from grade school to attend the County Fair. Warned of Carnival tricks, he read, “Free zoo.” Walking in the large front door, he went from animal to animal until he saw a man at the rear door waiting to collect his fee. Retracing his steps, Vic encountered the doorman at the front who told him to exit in the rear and pay his fee. Vic paid his quarter having learned the cost comes in exiting the back door. The entrance is always free.
Charles Ludwig grew up in Kenya and described a rogue elephant that became so mean the natives urged the Game Warden to kill the creature. When finally the Warden was able to kill the much-feared beast, the Warden ordered the hunters to remove the tusks. There, they found an old Arab bullet made in the ancient mold, touching a sensitive nerve. Sin is like that; it touches a nerve and causes us to do things we would not otherwise do.
Although hopelessly in debt and under the heavy burden of hidden charges there is a solution. Jesus promised to cancel our debt to sin’s creditor’s, but the one thing he requires is that we count the cost before following him. He illustrated this with two examples ( Luke 14:25-33). One man plans to build a tower. A king plans to battle an enemy force. Each must plan how to pay the cost. “In the same way,” Jesus taught, “none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up everything he has” (Luke 14:33 TEV).
Jeffery remembers being in a head-on collision at five years of age. Sitting on his mother’s lap while returning from a visit to his grandparents, a drunk driver ploughed head-on into their vehicle. He remembers only how he felt upon realizing he was covered with blood. He quickly discovered the blood belonged to his mother, who took the impact when her head slammed against the windshield. She recovered later and young Jeffrey was uninjured.
Like Jeffrey’s mom, Jesus took the impact of our collision with sin. His blood covers our lives. When we surrender to him and recognize it is his blood and not ours, we can recover our wholeness, happiness, and health.
On the other hand, a car salesman invested many hours in a couple wanting to purchase a car. Finally, he was allowed to write up the sales agreement and forward the paperwork into the dealership. When the papers came back, there was no sale for the salesman and no car for the couple. His summary comment said it all: “Good people, bad credit!”
It matters little how good we think we are, we must be careful how we think about life and how we go about experiencing life. David discovered sin is not as simple as adultery or murder; it is self-will flung in God’s face. Promises of “nothing down and no interest” are a seductive enticement, but your sins will find you out. The entrance may promise “no down payment and no interest” or “low interest and easy payments.” Payday always brings “payday someday” with a high cost for our low living.
This is walkingwithwarner.blogspot.com remembering
Yesterday is a cancelled check;
Tomorrow is a promissory note:
Today is the only cash you have—
Today is the only cash you have—
Spend it wisely._____