What Might Come Back to Haunt You

Have you ever thrown a boomerang? You know, the funky curved-shaped sticks that originated in Australia thousands of years ago. What makes them fun is the cool way they arc around and come back to you like a Golden Retriever with a slobbery tennis ball.

Only you don't have to feed and bathe a boomerang.

Oh - and they don't shed either.

My point? Well, watch the YouTube video "Own Your C" and I think you'll make the connection.

The boomerang effect doesn't just happen with Australian sticks...it also happens with the choices we make every minute of every day. Here's the way one author put it:

Sow an act...reap a habit
Sow a habit...reap a character
Sow a character...reap a destiny.
The word 'sow' here basically means to plant a seed. In the video, the teenager 'sowed' his choices up in air - thinking they would never return. In fact, I think he completely forgot about the acts and habits that came from the dark side of his character that eventually came back to annihilate his destiny.

Did you know that the Bible warns us about the 'boomerang effect' that happens with our choices? See if you pick up on this theme:

You may be sure that your sin will find you out. (Numbers 32:23)

The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear! (Luke 12:2-3)

My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same. (Job 4:8)

Don't be misled - you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. (Galatians 6:7-8)

It's just one of those laws of nature - right? Just like the boomerang operates on principles of physics and aerodynamics that are unchanging, the spiritual law of planting and harvesting operates on unchanging principles designed by God Himself.

Why did God do that? Well, the fact is He loves us too much to let us keep throwing destructive choices into our world that will eventually come back to destroy us. That's why He warns us so much, and that's why I'd like to challenge you to think about what "C's" you are flippantly casting into the life God gave you that will come back and trash your destiny.

A few that come to my mind-

"I can smoke like Thomas the Train, but it won't affect my health."
You should go visit a cancer hospice and talk to the lung cancer victims.

"I can 'hook up' before marriage without any consequences."
You should read about the latest study showing that one in four teens has a sexually transmitted disease.
You should also talk to a teen mom about how that choice impacted their life.

"I can lie, steal, cheat, and consume inappropriate violent and sexual content...and turn out just fine."
Really? That's like saying, "I can throw a boomerang, stand in the same place, and I'm sure it won't come back to hit me!" Believe me...it will.

But the good news is that you can change this very minute. God promises the boomerang effect with positive choices as well:

I said, "Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you" (Hosea 10:12).

Decide today to bury the destructive choices that threaten your destiny, and start planting positive seeds of seeking God, trusting Christ, and treat your body, mind and soul as the temple of God - and you won't believe what amazing things will come back - not to haunt you - but to give you the fulfilling life Christ died to make available to you.

Remember - you make your choices, then your choices make you...

Head: What you need to know about this truth
God has set up the universe with a spiritual boomerang effect, so that what we plant with our choices will ultimately influence our destiny.

Heart: What you need to feel about this truth
To be honest, it seems like most teens feel like they can keep making negative choices and not pay any consequences. Here's a great quote to remember:

Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you're willing to pay (Steve Farrar, Finishing Strong).

Hands: What you need to do about this truth
One great way to prevent your "c's" from coming back to haunt you is to map out where certain choices will take you in the future with an "if-then" format. For example:

If I continue to smoke - then


If I continue to go farther with my boyfriend/girlfriend - then


If I continue to lie, cheat, and steal - then


Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with to provide resources for youth leaders and students. Dare 2 Share exists to energize and equip teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries or the GameDay youth conference tour, please visit www.dare2share.org. Send feedback to lane@dare2share.org.