Back to all posts

What forgiveness does / doesn't do about past bad decisions

the next best step video May 20, 2022

In my past work at recovery centers, I met a lot of residents who felt that because they asked for forgiveness, that all of the consequences of the bad decisions they made should be erased. I’ve felt the same thing. And, I realize that the truth is that I’ve made mistakes in my life and hurt people who may never forgive me- and those relationships may never be restored. 

I’ve asked forgiveness, but actions I took led me down a different path. As such, I reap the consequences of those decisions.

Sometimes, we find ourselves forgiven (in fact, I would say that we can ALWAYS find forgiveness)...

... but why might still reap some of the bad fruit of past bad seeds.

(Thankfully, grace often covers A WHOLE BUNCH of that bad fruits that's due, but-- many times-- we still have clean up to do.)


Reaping isn’t punishment, it’s just the logical outcome- natural consequences- of actions we’ve taken. In other words, reaping is just a result.

Often, we face consequences to our actions and ask, “Why would God allow this to happen to me?”

This, again, goes back to that law of reaping and sowing. God forgives you for bad decisions that you’ve made- but you may still reap consequences from them.

Pay attention to “cause and effect” relationships you see in your life- then make adjustments. Proverbs 27:12 tells us that “the prudent [wise] see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

The odd reality is that when asked about cause and effect relationships (i.e, If you smoke crack will you most likely lose your job? If you cheat on your spouse will it affect your marriage?) we usually see the negative correlation- or the positive.

However, we rarely make adjustments and do things differently. 


I dunno...


✅ we think we're the exception to the rule

✅ we tend to create disconnects between the person we are now AND the person we are in the future-- as being the same person (the person in the future being the version of ourselves who gets to live the outcome of our current decisions

✅ we assume grace / forgiveness erases consequences...

It doesn't.

Not always.


Remember, in the same success leaves clues which we can follow, so also does sin and compromise and walking out of alignment with our values leave trails of breadcrumbs we can predictably follow (or avoid!) as well.

Never miss a new post + podcast!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.