The story is told of a teenager who was constantly getting into trouble — always apologizing when his parents confronted him. No matter how much he hurt his parents with his wrong-doing, he would soon turn around and do something else wrong — knowing that he would be quickly forgiven.
One day, his dad took him out to the garage for an illustration and a talk. He picked up a hammer and pounded a nail into the garage wall. Then he gave his son the hammer and instructed him to pull out the nail.
The boy shrugged, grabbed the hammer, and quickly yanked out the nail.
Then his dad told him, “That’s like forgiveness, son. When you do something wrong, it’s like pounding in a nail. Forgiveness is when you pull the nail out.”
“Okay, I get it,” said the boy.
“Now take the hammer and pull out the nail hole,” his dad replied.
“That’s impossible!” the boy said. “I can’t pull out the nail hole.”
The father replied, “You’re right, son. That nail hole is similar to the consequences of sin. You can pull out the nail (forgiveness), but you can’t pull out the nail hole” (consequences).
King David’s life proves that sin does indeed carry consequences. Even though David was forgiven (2 Samuel 12:13), his adultery and murder left scars that led to problems within his family (2 Samuel 12:10-12).
This sobering truth can serve as a warning for our lives. The best way to avoid the lingering damage of sin is to live a life of obedience to God (1 Samuel 15:22; Romans 6:17).
The bottom line: Our sins can be forgiven and washed away (1 John 1:9; cf. Psalm 32:5), but their consequences are ours to pay (2 Samuel 12:15-23).
Let’s think about it!