FAITH

What happens in Vegas DOESN’T stay in Vegas

 

I wrote last week about choices. I remembered this post later. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

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Let me first say that I absolutely HATE  (Does all that formatting make it clear how much?) the phrase, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”  I’ve heard it used for countless other circumstances since then and I acknowledge it’s said somewhat tongue-in-cheek. But the far-reaching implication is anything less than wholesome.

Didn’t satan (I refuse to capitalize his name) try the same approach when tempting Christ? “Just this one time, Jesus.  Who will know?” Or paraphrased, “Jesus, what happens here can stay here.” Isn’t that how we’re tempted as well?  “No one will find out. It will be my secret.” Goodness knows I’ve done it myself with my addiction to sweets.  Who sees that tenth cookie I eat? (Originally, I used “five” but who am I kidding? The reason I can and no one knows is because I don’t put on weight easily. A blessing and a curse.

But I know.

God knows. I’m not fooling anyone.

We might fool everyone else but we never fool ourselves. We can stuff it down deep somewhere. We can pretend we didn’t do it.  We can try to cover it up but it will eventually ooze out and infiltrate into some part of our life affecting our well-being in some way.

Sometimes emotional.

Sometimes mental.

Sometimes physical.

There is no way our lives aren’t affected. The more serious the offense, the greater the impact. The accountant who “borrows” from the company for years only to be discovered and sent to jail certainly knows that is true. Every time we do or think anything, it becomes a permanent part of who we are and affects or even limits future choices. Everyone intuitively knows this is true but if we deny it long enough, we can convince ourselves otherwise.

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The Scriptures are pretty clear that God is everywhere and God sees everything. That doesn’t mean God is trying to trip us up or He’s got an “evil eye” on us but more that His presence is everywhere. Frankly, I find it comforting to know God is watching. even when I mess up. It makes me feel loved and protected just as a  child feels when they are aware of their parent’s watchful eyes.

Psalms 90:8: “You have placed our iniquities before You, Our secret sins in the light of your presence.”(New American Standard translation)   

What happens in one part of our life isn’t compartmentalized from other parts of our life. We are “synthesized” beings. The more everything is in harmony, the better we function.

Haven’t you wondered why the phrase was even coined in the first place? It certainly wasn’t to guarantee one’s privacy or keep one’s secrets. (If someone believes that, I have some swamp land in Florida I can sell them.) The slogan is meant to urge people to indulge in activities in Vegas that will bring revenue to the various establishments. It’s about the money. It isn’t about anyone’s well-being. Surely no one believes that the management in Vegas or the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce (or whoever coined the phrase) meant it for anyone’s best interest.

I’m not referring only to the gambling that is synonymous with Vegas. I’m referring to the concept in general that says we can behave badly in situations where no one knows us nor is anyone likely to find out. Here’s the truth:

  • We can fool some of the people some of the time.
  • We can fool some of the people all the time.
  • We can fool all the people some of the time.
  • We can even probably fool all the people all the time.

But we never fool ourselves.

When we make poor choices, it isn’t just us that impacted. It’s everyone that knows us and sometimes it’s people that don’t know us.

Unless we are totally isolated, our choices make a difference in this world.

Think about the choices you make. Don’t see them as harmless just because someone else won’t know about it.

All choices have consequences, good or bad.

I hope this helps you make good choices.

God bless and have a great day.

 

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