“If you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” (John 8:24, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Event + Response = Outcome. An equation attributed to Jack Canfield, motivational speaker and co-author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” The premise is that we cannot change events. But we can always change our response to events, which is the only means we have of changing the outcome.
How many times have people said “if only I had done this or had not done that, this (event) would not have happened?” Doing this or not doing that is not a response because it would have to occur before the event to prevent it from happening. Responses occur after an event has already happened.
One can, of course, anticipate possible events and plan accordingly, but in the battlefield of life (as in a real battlefield), events rarely transpire as anticipated and the contingencies that were planned for more often than not do not unfold as they were thought out beforehand. That leaves us with the only arrow left in our quiver, and that is our response.
But there is one huge flaw to this equation. Can you spot it? Give up? It is true the only thing we can control is our response (and sometimes we fail to control that). Can you spot it now? Yes, that’s it. The word “we.” But there is someone who knows the beginning from the end. Someone who does not need to anticipate anything. He has been known to change events. But not always.
He chose not to prevent mankind’s fall. He created us with the freedom to make our own choices (plural) and warned us ahead of time of the consequences of the wrong choice (singular). The event, Satan’s temptation of Adam and Eve, was permitted by God. It could not have been prevented by either Adam or Eve. The outcome could have been changed by the right response, but it wasn’t. We (there’s that word again) would not have done any better, as we demonstrated time and again during our lifetime with other sins. So now what? The flaw in the equation? It left out God. His response? To provide a remedy to our outcome.
My Advice – The event has happened. We fell because we did not respond properly. The outcome is horrendous (understatement). But God intervenes with His own response, which created a new (second chance) event for us to respond to. We can change the outcome by how we respond. That is the only way we can change our outcome. Jesus said there is no other way. He should know. Otherwise He gave His life needlessly. And by the way, there will be no third chance. The wrong response (rejecting God’s remedy) will not change our outcome. Failing to respond (ignoring God’s remedy) will not change our outcome. The only response that will change our outcome is by accepting God’s remedy. Respond today.