My dilemma was a major one. With one hand on the freezer door, the other slowly reached forward toward the cookie-dough… To consume or not to consume?
My hesitation was from remembering a conversation I had earlier that day about how I might actually be pregnant. And while that potential thought filled me with delight, it also made me nervous, because I really hadn’t been taking care of my health or eating healthy these last few weeks.
In the middle of that conversation about potentially being pregnant, I found myself thinking, “If only I had known there was a possibility that I’d end up pregnant this month, then I would have done things differently. The only reason I ate all that junk food was because I wasn’t aware this would happen!”
The trouble is, I was just lying to myself. If you asked me without any bias or cookie dough involved, I would have admitted that I did understand that I could end up pregnant this month. The difference is that I just didn’t think it would actually happen…
Fast forward 5 hours and I find myself standing at the freezer door, looking at that cookie dough. I know that I could be pregnant. I know that eating sugar affects my health and immune system. But somehow I still managed to convince myself that I wasn’t pregnant, and that even if I was, I would be fine and the cookie dough would not affect me in any way whatsoever. So I went ahead and consumed.
But as I stood there munching, I was struck by how much my actions are a picture of what we do with God’s words about our eternity.
One day, we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. If we are saved, we will not be punished for our sins, because Jesus has already paid the death penalty for us. (Hebrews 9:27-28) But I still cannot ignore the many verses in the Bible that tell me it really does make a difference how I live my life in this world. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18, 2 Corinthians 5:9-10, Romans 6:1-15, Romans 14:10-12.)
“But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.” 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
If you ask me without any bias or personal sacrifice involved, I’ll admit that I know I need to live my life in a way that shows I’m looking forward to heaven and have my treasures laid up there instead of here…
But does that transfer over to the day to day decisions of selfishness versus giving, or choosing to speak truth over complaining and grumbling against God? I know I am far better at justifying my actions instead of truly evaluating my heart attitude and surrendering to God.
My desperate prayer is that myself and you reading this will not stand before the Judgement Seat one day and think to ourselves, “if only I had known that it would make a difference how I acted on earth, I would have done things differently.”
Because we do know. I’ve seen those times that God answers prayers. Yes, He doesn’t always answer the way I want. But that shouldn’t stop me from praying more for the precious people in my life. I’ve also seen those times when I step up to help others and it makes a huge difference in their life. So why don’t I serve more?
Is it because I convince myself that it’ll be fine and not really have an impact on my world around me or my eternity?
In case you’re curious, I found out the following day that I was not pregnant. I felt like I had another chance to try to do things the right way with my health. And the same is true of each moment of life we’re given- if we haven’t stepped into eternity yet, we still have a chance to choose to follow God.
There are many hurting people around us who are silently crying for someone to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I’ve been there- crying for help, but too broken to actually say anything out loud. And I am thankful beyond words for friends who have gone out of their way to show me love and support when I’m struggling.
We need to stop convincing ourselves that it doesn’t matter how we live, and that even if it did matter in this life, it surely won’t make a difference in eternity… May we, by God’s grace, put down the cookie dough and align our actions with what we do know to be true.
2 Corinthians 4:17 “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil”
Romans 6:1-2 “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?”
Romans 14:12 “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.”