Friday, July 21, 2006

If We'd Only Known...

The organization in charge of matching foreign students with host families in the United States admitted their criteria were among the strictest of all such groups. They turned down four local couples—God-fearing, upright, productive, loving citizens—because each of them failed the scrutiny of a background check.

One husband had a marijuana issue…thirty years prior.

Another had a DUI on his record…again, decades earlier.

And so read the list of offenses. For some of the couples, the hindrance happened while they were in college or before they dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ and had their thinking about those issues upended.

But the records’ voice won out. The couples were turned down as host families.


Maybe. But it underscores a life-truth that screams its wisdom. “Be sure your sins will find you out.” That’s how God said it.

I prefer to word it this way: “Be sure your sins will come back and bite you in the patootey!”

We see it happen with political candidates.

We trace its shadows on lung xrays.

We witness the repercussions of unwise decisions long generations after the fact.

As they aimed for maturity, my children passed that "Be sure your sins" message on to the next child in line. “I don’t know how it happens, but you might as well fess up to any wrong you do. Sooner or later, Mom and Dad will find out. They always find out.”

We could change the course of the world if we could convince a generation to act in accordance with that truth.

“You want to get a tattoo? Think for a minute. Is that the design you want undulating on the waves of your wrinkles when you’re sixty-four and being prepped for gall bladder surgery?”

“Remember, every intimate moment you spend with someone now is a memory you’ll have to deal with when you finally marry.”

“The person you pick on in junior high school may be your boss, your neighbor, or your IRS auditor someday.”

“Before you make a decision, ask yourself if you really want the results of that decision showing up in a background check years down the road.”

I know. Young people tend to live in the “now.” Planning for the future isn’t even on their radar screen. Making choices now in light of their impact decades later doesn't register. But what if it did?

Reminds me of the television commercial with the little boy who when asked, “Do you want to get an ice cream cone?” answered, “Nah. I’m saving for college.”

The little boy wasn’t enjoying the moment because he was “foolishly” thinking ahead a good dozen years. Why would we find that mockable? He gave up a small, temporary pleasure for the hope of finishing college without a crippling school loan.

And we presume HE’S the one not thinking clearly?

Grateful for grace,