Consider the Cost First to Lessen the Debt Later

by Kent Heaton

The burden of debt robs happiness and joy from life. In our economic crisis, our world has been propelled into a dark period of hardship, sadness, and depression. As many have spent their time enjoying whatever the heart finds to do the day of reckoning brings about the reality of life unbridled. Free spending of temporary wealth has plunged untold families into financial nightmares. Thousands have lost their homes, jobs, and the joy of life. Insurmountable debts are brought about by not giving due consideration to the cost; throwing aside caution and wisdom to enjoy the passing pleasures of life. Reality is the wake-up call that for every action there must be a reaction. But we do not speak of the spending of money - we speak of the spending of lives marred by sin.

Paul reminds us that "whatever a man sows, this he will also reap" (Galatians 6:7). When we spend our lives enjoying whatever the heart finds to do there will be a day when the harvest will be gathered. It seems joyful for the moment but then reality settles in and the debt of sin overwhelms the soul. Eve thought that a little taste of the forbidden fruit would be enjoyable and she also gave some to her husband (Genesis 3:6). But then their eyes were opened and it was too late. They were ashamed and fearful of what they had done.

The nature of immorality is that it looks appetizing and appealing and fun, and we must know there is a hunger and desire that is pleasant and enjoyable. In those moments when Adam and Eve tasted the fruit, there was enjoyment and pleasure. It was the aftertaste that changed their minds. Immorality is a tempting fruit of desire that brings fulfillment but for a moment. The aftertaste is a life of guilt, sadness, despair, and ruin of the loss of innocence, purity, and holiness before God.

Wisdom suggests that a clear picture of sin must be understood in the debt that will become a burden hard to bear. The crafty woman of Proverbs 7 is one that entices the young man with all the finery of her day and the alluring speech enticing his heart to lay with her. "With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, until an arrow pierces through his liver; As a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life. Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths. For many are the victims she has cast down, and numerous are all her slain. Her house is the way to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death" (Proverbs 7:21-27).

The cost is the slaughter of one's life, and what a high price is paid. If wisdom had been the guiding path and the cost would have been counted the young man would not have passed near her street (Proverbs 7:6-20). The proverb writer goes on to say that "the fear of the Lord is to hate evil" (Proverbs 8:13). Hating evil is to stay far away from it and count the cost of coming near to evil. "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil" (I Thessalonians 5:21-22).

Consider the debt of sin before paying the ultimate price. "Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched" (Proverbs 6:27-28).

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