God. Truth. Choice. Consequence. What do we do when words and concepts become fuzzy to us? We need to do some soul-searching. We need honest, painful, gut-check, reality checking.
Why? Because this stuff matters and matters forever. If God is who the Bible says He is and not just whatever you think He is, then this isn't a game. It's real. The real question when words and concepts become fuzzy to us is this: Are the words and concepts fuzzy in and of themselves or is it my vision that has become impaired?
The Bible is quite unfuzzy about God and truth. God doesn't change. Period. Do not try to adjust Him when He appears to gets fuzzy or when others try to convince you He's fuzzy. Genesis 3 tells us who is behind all attempts to make God and His word seem fuzzy. If God appears fuzzy to you, you're wearing Serpent glasses.
What about truth? Truth is truth. It doesn't change, either. Even when your society, your culture, your favorite talk show host, and your most esteemed and highest educated tongue-waggers tell you that truth is relative, it doesn't change the truth about truth. There is right and wrong. Period. The same God who isn't fuzzy has given us His unfuzzy and unfuzziable truth. Man can't tell God who God is. God tells man who God is.
Nor can man tell God what God should accept from man. Cain tried that. God wanted an animal sacrifice. Cain showed up with a vegetable tray as if to tell God, "I think this is better." Cain was dead wrong.
That leaves us with a choice - the third one in the list above. If God isn't fuzzy and God's truth isn't fuzzy, then how fuzzy are our choices? Not very. We have a choice to believe Him, His Word, His ways, and His promises (promises of what will happen to those who obey His truth and those who do not), or we can choose to disobey. There's no "Choice Purgatory" where we can bargain for a lesser degree of obedience or punishment. There isn't a court of appeals at the corner of heaven and hell.
We either choose to take God at His word and obey or we choose to disobey. After we make our choice to obey or disobey, we are then introduced to the consequences that tag along behind each choice. The consequences can be numerous. One consequence is that every sin I commit and refuse to repent of leads me to commit an even worse sin which leads to an even worse sin, and the tilt continually only leads me further from God and deeper into misery, emptiness, and loneliness.
Cain's anger led to the premeditated homicide of his brother and a curse upon him that was more than he could bear.
There are other consequences, as well. My sin hurts more than me. It hurts others, especially those close to me. As my selfishness rises, my view of their worth diminishes and the ego I feed becomes a beast who devours those who truly care about me.
Some consequences cannot be altered. If I stole a car, was arrested, and in jail asked God to forgive me, God would forgive. Would that cause the deputy to unlock the doors or the judge to dismiss the case? Not likely.
(Aren't you glad there's a "but"?)
But God is a God of grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. There is always a turning point with God. God doesn't condone what we do nor give us permission to continue what He says we should not do, but He does forgive us when we stop doing things our way and start doing them His way.
We ask. He forgives.
We pivot. He guides.
We stretch out our hand toward His to find His waiting on ours.
Cain found that God was merciful even to repentant murderers. I never killed my brother, though my thoughts on the subject came dangerously close a time or two. But I've made messes of my own. And I've found that God is merciful when I repent of my messes, too.
God. Truth. Choice. Consequence. It all starts with how accurate your vision of God is. There's a very accurate eye exam that starts in Genesis and ends in Revelation. Take it. If you see a cross with tearful clarity, you pass.
The Eyes Have It,