What’s the Bottom Line?
Have you ever thought about doing something and then you wondered – but what’s the bottom line? If I proceed what possible consequences could there be? What will the fall-out be? Should I go for it or not?
There’s a chapter in the Bible I wish never had to be written. And if that’s how I feel, how the central figure himself must have felt about it as the tragic story unfolded! If he considered a bottom-line, it was the near sighted and immediate bottom line of self gratification. But there was a far more significant bottom line that should have been weighing heavily on his mind – the same one that’s relevant in your life and mine today.
The chapter starts with a King not doing what he normally would have done. Rather than being with the other kings and being with his people, he relaxed and reclined on his bed. Idle time is dangerous time. Alone on the roof of his palace he leisurely strolled, looking here and there, and sure enough his eyes saw a woman bathing.
Sin does not require a lot of premeditation or a lot of plotting, devising or scheming. The response of the flesh can be immediate and if not brutally squashed, it will make the choice for you. King David set the gears in motion and, within a short while, the adulterous act took place. It was self-gratifying at the moment but when the crushing news came that she was now pregnant, the King scrambled to cover-up his tracks.
The initial sin done out of impulse now required a complex cover-up strategy. Several attempts were made to hide his involvement in the pregnancy but when they failed, David resorted to having the woman’s husband deliberately exposed to life-threatening dangers. Sure enough hubby was knocked out by a bow and arrow.
The lady went through her mourning for her slain husband and now it was time for the King to complete his strategy of legitimizing Bathsheba as his new wife. The baby arrived – the product of an act of lust and uncontrolled desire.
The dark chapter in David’s life and a dark chapter in our Bible concludes with a dark closing statement:
“But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.”
2 Samuel 11:27
The bottom line of the chapter, the bottom line of the story, the bottom line of pleasing self is – it always displeases the Lord.
The sin of adultery may not be the thing that is tempting you. But perhaps you are toying with something else. In your mind, you may have it all rationalized as totally innocent, harmless and without any repercussions or consequences.
What is your bottom line today?
This action I am contemplating – the decision I am trying to make – the direction I am considering or the way I have been leaning for the last little while – is it most likely to be pleasing to the Lord? Or will the chapter of this episode of your Christian life, being recorded by the Divine pen, conclude with the final and bottom line: “But the thing that ______________ had done displeased the Lord.”
The bottom line for a Child of God should always be: will this please the Lord?
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ