For the past few years I have been answering questions from listeners on my daily program The Mark Gungor Show. We receive a wide range of issues from people all over the world who tune in asking for advice on dating, sex, parenting, theology, in-laws…you name it, we get it. My answers are brutally honest, biblically based, common sense (which isn’t so common) and quite hilarious at times. In the many, many questions we get, one theme is extremely common: “Pastor, how can I unscramble the eggs?”
Let me explain.
A lot of dilemmas that people find themselves in stem from their own choices, actions and behaviors. Maybe they were sexually promiscuous for years, went down the path of viewing pornography and masturbating since they were teenagers, neglected their marriage and treated their spouse horribly, committed adultery, got divorced, entered into a step-family situation…the list can go on. The source or cause of the current issues and problems can be interchangeable, but the same question comes forth. They want to know how they can fix it, undo it and “make it normal”.
Most people want some magic prayer or answer as to how they can make it like it never happened. In other words, how do I unscramble the eggs that I scrambled? They don’t like the consequences of the choices they made in the past and don’t want those consequences to impact the present or future. Here’s the hard truth: We reap what we sow. It’s in The Bible and apparently churches aren’t teaching this to their people outside of the financial context. Preachers will often use the concept in terms of money, yet fail to extrapolate it to the whole of life.
If you never pay attention to your spouse, if you have an affair, if you sleep with a dozen different people and get an STD, guess what? You reap the negative consequences. But, if you spend time with your spouse, stay faithful in your marriage, remain a virgin and live monogamously, you reap the positive consequences. Amazing how that works!
The world never talks about the ramifications of our choices. In point of fact, personal responsibility and understanding cause and effect is a rare thing in the culture of today. Hollywood makes it seem as if there are no consequences to amoral behavior and that as long as you are doing what feels good to you and makes you happy, everything will be fine. But that is a lie. What we do has a direct connection to what we get in life.
Here is where many Christians get hung up. They may have done all sorts of things prior to coming to faith, or even as a practicing believer, and they understand the concept of sin and forgiveness. So they ask God to forgive them of their sins and then expect the consequences of those sins to be erased. They misunderstand what it means to be forgiven of sin.
Before God it is as if these things had never happened. He does forgive and remove the guilt of our transgressions and makes us pure in our standing before Him. But the consequences remain for us to deal with. Please hear what I’m saying…can God do anything? Yes! He can remove every memory you have, restore any relationship, heal your mind and body of disease, and every other thing under the sun that we can ask for or need.
And I certainly can give you my best advice on how to live in the situation, deal with your circumstances, cope with the outcomes, manage the consequences and still have a good life. What I can’t do is tell you how to take it all away and make the fallout of your choices disappear because the principle of sowing and reaping always applies.
Paul writes in Galatian 6:7-8, “Do not be deceived:God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh,from the flesh will reap destruction;whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
It’s an imperative teaching that churches must pass onto their people and parents must get into their children. Yet, even though Paul warns us, it seems many Christians are deceived.
They operate under the delusion that they can scramble the eggs and then God, their pastor or some guy like me on a show can unscramble them. People think they can sow poison and destruction in their lives and that somehow there is a magic prayer to say or a magic wand to wave so they reap blessings and goodness. They want to harvest what they did not plant and think that it’s not fair to get anything less than their greatest wishes and desires. Christians think this way because they fail to understand the biblical concept of sowing and reaping, sin and its consequences.
It’s as if they are now sitting with a plate of scrambled eggs and saying, “But I don’t want my eggs scrambled. I want fried eggs. I prayed and asked God to change them into fried. Pastor Mark, make these fried for me, will you?” And here’s the deal. You can’t unscramble them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the plate of eggs. You may prefer, fried. You may long for fried. You may look at the other people sitting at the table enjoying their fried eggs and wish that you could have what they are having. You may think it’s not fair that you get stuck with the scramble eggs. But the bottom line is they are still good eggs. You can eat them, live with them and enjoy them just the same.
It’s important to learn and teach our kids that if you want fried eggs, it’s best not scramble them in the first place.