How to make a bad situation much worse …

A young boy lived in the country. So sparse was the country living of this boy’s family that they had to use an outhouse. It was hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and always — always — smelly.

The young boy really hated that outhouse! This outhouse was located near a creek, so the boy got the wild idea that he would push the outhouse into the water. After a spring rain, the creek swelled, so the boy pushed in the outhouse.

Later that night the boy’s dad told him he and the boy needed to take a trip out to the woodshed. The boy knew this meant punishment. He asked his father why, to which his dad replied, “Because someone pushed the outhouse into the creek and I think that someone was you. Was it?”

The boy admitted it was. Then he added, “Remember when George Washington’s father asked him if he had chopped down the cherry tree? He didn’t get into trouble because he told the truth.”

“That is correct,” responded the dad, “but his father was not in the cherry tree when he cut it down.”

There are ALWAYS consequences for your choices and actions. A sure way to make a bad situation even worse than it is, is to try to avoid your consequences.

Over the many years as a clinical therapist, I have often seen people who have done significant damage to their lives from their own choices. The actions they decided to take hurt themselves and others, and when the consequences for their choices were coming around, they desperately wanted to avoid them.

These people who tried to escape their consequences only made their situations much worse for them. Instead of facing, and literally walking into their consequences, they tried to avoid them. Doing so means they were avoiding the needed choices and actions — like honest confession, repentance, reconciliation, and restitution — that would be necessary to work through their problems and move into a hopeful future.

People try to run from the outcome of their choices and actions because those consequences can be devastating, sometimes for the moment, sometimes for years to come, and sometimes some of the consequences will stay with them for life. Consequences may result in real and significant losses, especially loss of relationships, but those are costs that must be worked through as part of the consequences for your choices. You cannot heal and move forward without facing your consequences head-on, walking into them, and working through them into the future that is possible for you.

Even one of the Bible’s great men, King David, attempted to run from the consequences of his sin of adultery and murder surrounding his obsession with Bathsheba. Scripture recounts how miserable David was because he tried to avoid his consequences, and it was only after the prophet Nathan called out David for his sin, and David finally confessed and faced his consequences — which would include the death of his son he had with Bathsheba — could David be restored and move forward.

Don’t do more harm to yourself by attempting to run from your consequences. Stop. Confess and repent. Walk into your consequences and work on reconciliation and restitution. This is the only way to get through what you’ve done.