- Remember the mystery wrongdoer from your childhood? We called him Mr. Nobody. Now he runds the government. 11 hours ago
- In peace I will lie down and sleep at once, for you alone, O Yahweh, make me dwell safely. bible.us/90/psa.4.8.leb 4 days ago
- Studying Pentecost for this Sunday’s sermon and delighting in how Yahweh tied everything together so we would know and believe the Truth. 7 days ago
- Not sure what I think about this but gladd e-book #a11y is getting mainstream attention tinyurl.com/dybbwbg @fedora_outlier 7 days ago
- And if I switch to NVDA, ZoomText will be next for the trash can. It constantly loses tracking and I only use it because of Window-Eyes. 8 days ago
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Tag Archives: consequences
This is a cautionary tale for anyone with a job to do. It happens to be about a technical issue, but the same thing could apply to whatever profession occupies your working day. Apply it to any situation where you’re work represents the interests of others, whether you are paid or not. Obviously if you are identified with the mistake it reflects poorly on you, but it may be that no one can identify the culprit. It doesn’t matter. There is still a cost.
It happened yesterday morning. One of the companies we do business with presented me with an offer to get an app for interacting with them on my smart phone. In general I am not afraid to do business online, but I’m a little tentative when it comes to doing it over a wireless connection. However, I suspect the risk is not significant as long as the security is done right, so I decided to try it. After all, this company takes great care with security and my experience with their online services overall has been exceptional. They also do a good job with accessibility so I was curious if the Android offering would be useable.
This time the experience was not so great. First of all, it took too many steps. The Android market can be accessed directly from the computer and apps sent to the phone. There was no need to send me a text message which I had to then access from my phone and click the link. Whether they considered that an additional security measure or just wanted to collect my cell number I can’t say. Had they not added this step, things probably would have worked out. As it was, the process broke down. The link I got in the text message didn’t work. I tried two different browsers just to be sure. Could this be a problem with needing to craft the link differently based on the carrier? Maybe, but that is why developers do testing before they implement. I’m on a major carrier. That’s no excuse.
I never tried the app. I probably could have hunted it down myself in the market, but now my already shaky confidence in the safety of online transactions by wireless is eroded further. At least in the case of this institution, I don’t trust their code. If they can’t even get the download process right, how much care did they take with the app itself? It might be the best app ever, but it might also be full of security holes just waiting for a hacker to exploit, and it would be a tempting target.
That error alone isn’t sufficient to make me consider moving my business elsewhere, but combined with other degradation of service I am seeing, I am wondering if it might be time to move on. I suppose that statement weakens my point. It isn’t just this one problem that may prompt me to terminate my relationship with this company, but it may be the proverbial last straw. So, a simple typo may cost this company a loyal customer of many years. If you are in IT, THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO TEST EVERY PART OF THE PROCESS!
We’ve all heard that, or something like it. It probably came from your mom as she watched you swinging from that tree or flying down the street on your bike with your hands proudly waving in the air. Maybe she demanded that you stop immediately. Sometimes parents can be a little too protective, but we grow to understand the motivation. When you got older, the messages may have become more complex, but the underlying meaning was still the same. “Don’t eat too much candy.” “Don’t forget your homework.” “Be home before midnight.” “Stay away from that boy/girl.” Our parents did what they could to help us grow up to be whole and well-adjusted adults and to keep us from the many perils of life in this world until we made it there. Despite their best efforts, some of us don’t quite make it.
I suspect that only one child in the history of humanity accepted His parents’ rules without complaint. We don’t like rules. We don’t like anything that keeps us from having what we want when we want it. Often we rebel and do as we please anyway. When we were children, our parents responded to this rebellion with some form of punishment. In this case the consequence of our action is contrived, but with good reason. If we do not learn that our actions have consequences as children, we will learn it as adults and they will be much more severe. Examine our prison population if you need proof. A majority of the offenders there lacked strong discipline at home.
Why did our parents treat us this way? In most cases, they were not exercising power for its own sake. They did not take pleasure in causing us pain. They did what they did because they loved us. All of the rules, admonishments, lectures, and punishments were intended to shape and protect us. They were saying, “I love you. I want the best for you. Don’t hurt yourself.” Most of us figure that out at some point in our lives. We come to understand that love doesn’t require unrestrained indulgence.
This letter is written to all of us, but in particular to you who for whatever reason may have kept your distance from God or “religion.” Or, maybe you just aren’t comfortable with everything that’s in the Bible. For the purposes of this post I’m going to assume at least an acknowledgement that God exists and has a part in human affairs.
It is no mere accident of language that God defines Himself as our Father. He gives us (though regrettably not including me) children so that we can understand that aspect of His love for us. He sets boundaries for us and gives us instruction to protect and nurture us because He loves us. If you’ve ever read the first few books of the Bible, you saw a whole lot of rules. They are there to help us understand our relationship to a holy God and our abject need for His redemption, but many of them also served to protect His people. In an era when no one could have known about the unseen pathogens that spread sickness and disease, God provided detailed instructions regarding clean and unclean that kept the people as safe as possible. All of the rules were motivated by love.
Though Jesus has made a new and better way (Rom 5:8-9) and we know that salvation cannot be earned (Eph. 28,) He has given us instructions that are for our own good. The ultimate tragedy is to refuse the gift that Jesus offers in Himself. Miss that and nothing else really matters. Yet it remains true that following the principles of living that He laid out for us in the Bible will keep us from much harm. This is the ache that is in my heart when I see people making poor choices. When we share the Gospel message, one of the verses commonly referenced is Romans 6:23, which says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We speak of the final damnation in Hell, but one need not look so far to see the truth in this passage. Most of us will experience the consequences of our sin while we yet live on this earth. This is often true even after we have repented and been forgiven. We may be spared the ultimate consequence, but some things are going to happen just that’s because the way things work. Unless God in his mercy intervenes, we will not be spared earthly repercussions.
Oh loved ones, I wish I could call you by name, but that would not be appropriate here. Choose life! Enough suffering comes to us just because we live in a fallen world. Please do not add to your misery by choosing short term pleasures that will bring you long term pain. Study God’s word and live by it. He makes no promise of freedom from suffering in this life. In fact if you are truly devoted you may find that too brings you grief, but the reward is eternal! Do not turn away from the One who loves you with everything He has. I would see you truly live and not die. In my own poor way I love you, but His love will never fail.
I’ve got a friend who is greatly disturbed that the church has moved away from preaching God’s judgment in favor of His love. I do understand the concern. Our entire society is moving away from the idea that any action must have consequences. This denial does not negate the fact. I think that most judgment comes in the form of cause and effect. When we act contrary to God’s design, He need not actively intervene in most cases in order to bring about punishment. His judgment is built into His creation. Admittedly this may be considered just word play. It is through His active creative energy that we exist at all. In that sense it cannot be said that anything happens without His doing it. This used to make me uncomfortable, and I know that for many in the tradition I come from it amounts to heresy. It seems to make God the source of evil. The same logic that leads us to His existence inevitably leads to this conclusion. If He created everything, then He created the potential for evil, if not evil itself. Or, perhaps evil exists in the basic structure of reality. Anything that is contrary to Him is by definition evil, since He is good. That still leaves us with God creating beings with the potential to do evil, thus being an indirect cause of the evil we suffer. Why?
I’ve addressed this in prior posts if you would like more perspective on that question, but I believe the answer is love. In order to love Him, we must be able to choose. We cannot choose if there is no choice. That doesn’t compromise His sovereignty. Since He already knows the end from the beginning, all of us have been predestined by the fact of our creation. That he knows our choice before we make it does not absolve us from making the choice. In fact that choice is crucial.
That is why I can say that judgment is part of love. I would agree with my friend that we do a disservice to those we would reach with the good news of God’s love when we do not expose the consequences of spurning it. I only suggest that we need not deemphasize love in the process. Just like a good father who teaches his children through discipline, Yahweh teaches us. Would anyone who has studied the Bible thoroughly doubt that He loves His people Israel? What then can we make of His many pronouncements of judgment except that He means to redeem them? That is exactly what He did, and the entirety of the Bible shows how He used even the evil to bring about ultimate good. He has completed it in Jesus, and this generation may well be the one to see the final evidence thereof.
When we share the good news, we don’t need to try to strike some sort of balance between judgment and love. We do need to speak of judgment with love. If you saw a child running into oncoming traffic, would you not try to get him out of harm’s way? If you saw a blind man walking toward the edge of a precipice, would you not warn him to turn around? Would you spend any time wondering if these people might reject your attempts to save them? Most of us would not, yet there are people all around us who are heading for their own eternal destruction. We just stand by and watch, fearing some minor bit of unpleasantness if we should intervene. Thank God that you do not live in a country where your life truly would be on the line if you speak the truth. Use what you have been given. I am writing to myself as well. Whether Jesus comes back tomorrow or centuries from now, our own time is short, and every day we remain silent someone loses life forever. What kind of judgment awaits us for our lack of love for the dying around us? Maybe it will be that we find ourselves living in one of those countries I made reference to. We could be closer than you think. Maybe this would be God’s love in action for us. It would force us to choose between love of our comfort and love of our God.
I got an email this morning from Nathan Tabor, former owner of The Conservative Voice (tcv.com) now part of townhall.com. It said “Merry Christmas,” and not recognizing the name I almost deleted it as spam. I guess he kept the email addresses of the people who signed up to leave comments on the site. In preparation for a book he is writing, he asked for feedback on the supposition that people believe it is easier to do wrong than to do right. I decided to share my response with everyone.
Yes, it’s often easier to do wrong in the short run, but the long-term consequences are deadly. Even Jesus said, “ Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.” (Matt 7:13 NASU) The best things in life are not free (arguable exception below.) They require diligence, self denial, and commitment. We all too readily sacrifice the best pleasures in life in exchange for the temporary. What does this have to do with right and wrong? The right way leads to the long term satisfaction we’re all seeking. God’s way is the best way and yields the best rewards. The result of sin is death (Rom 6:23,) and the sad thing is, people often don’t recognize the miserable state their sin has put them in. Life on earth is not easy for any of us, but there are some things no one should have to experience. If we will choose to follow the truth of god’s word, it will spare us much heartache.