Repercussions

dominos-1“God! You are so stupid!”

Christians rightly find this phrase highly offensive. After all, we are mere mortals, and he is the all-knowing one. How could the finite possibly insult the infinite?

The book of Proverbs offers one explanation. “Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker” (Proverbs 17:5). Most Christians would bristle if they heard someone blaspheme the name of God, but might not give a second thought to a snide comment about the poor. Scripture says that when you insult a poor man, you are really insulting his creator.

Scripture teaches that all sin is sin against God. When Cain murdered Abel, he stole the life-blood that God had given him. He stamped out the spirit of life that God had put into his brother. He marred the image of God within himself. He usurped God’s role as the author and finisher of human life. He victimized Abel, his parents, and his God. When Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife, he rejected her advances by saying that he could not “do this great wickedness and sin against God.” (Genesis 39:9)

Perhaps if we realized that our actions have repercussions beyond the earthly, it would cause us to evaluate them more carefully. If we realized that our words to other humans were actually insulting to God, would it change what we say in the heat of an argument? If we realized that our selfishness and greed wasn’t just hurting our families, but it was robbing God, would we be more concerned about the consequences?

Solomon didn’t just write about negative repercussions. He repeated this proverb later in his book, but with a positive promise. He wrote, “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him” (Proverbs 14:31). Our good deeds are not done just for other humans—but for God himself.

Let’s remember that our actions, whether good or bad, reflect our view of God. Jesus said that whatever we do—or don’t do—for the least of those among us, we do to him (see Matthew 25). Let’s keep in mind the words of Colossians 3:17: “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in th e name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”