I want to take you back almost three weeks ago. It was a Wednesday evening. We had finished up singing praises to our King Jesus. The family and I left the building and went home. As we pulled up to the house, I told Nikki (my wife) I was going to check to see if anything had fallen in the attic. As I looked around in the attic, everything appeared fine. That was until I slipped and put my foot through my office ceiling. I lost my no complain challenge that night! I tore up shin pretty badly. We went to the ER down the road from our house. After a tetanus shot, a prescription for an antibiotic, and a bandage on my left leg, we went home. For the last few weeks walking into the office and looking up is a reminder that I had not been careful with how I walked.
You may be wondering why I’m sharing this. It is embarrassing. Yet, there’s a sermon in everything. This morning, I want to talk about “Being Careful How We Walk.” This sermon is geared to our young people in particular, while application can be made for all of us. Our theme is “Arise and Build.” We discussed earlier about the importance of men leading our families in the paths of righteousness. While parents have a responsibility to lead and teach their children the way of God, as young people you too have responsibility. You are not exempt when it comes to arising and building. God expects you to do right, Ephesians 6:1-4. You have responsibility as well. What I want to encourage you to do is to be careful how you walk. Paul reminded the saints about their walk in Ephesians. Consider how they were to walk, Ephesians 4:17, 5:1-2,5:8, 15-17.
Take it from me, it matters how you walk in life. It matters from a physical standpoint and financial standpoint like fixing a part of my ceiling. From a spiritual perspective it matters how you walk, Psalm 1:1-3. In all seriousness, it matters how you walk both now and in the future. Let me share with you some thoughts from my misstep that will help you.
- It can be easy to slip. In life, it can be easy to think that you have it all figured out. But be careful how you walk. I wish I could say I fell because it was dark or because someone distracted me. I can’t. Maybe I was overconfident. Maybe I relaxed too much. I wasn’t careful. Be careful how you walk. Be wise and know that if not careful things can change quickly. Be sure to guard your heart, Proverbs 4:23. Be sure to consider the cost of how you walk. If not careful, things can change in an instant. Ask King David or King Saul. It doesn’t appear David had any intentions of slipping in his walk, 2 Samuel 11:1-3. But it happened, even to the man who often hid God’s word in his heart, Psalm 119:11. It didn’t appear Saul had intentions of disobeying God. But it happened, 1 Samuel 13:7-9. What’s the point? Be careful how you walk. In life, situations can change quickly. A decision to go somewhere or with someone can change what things in your life may look like. If you steal at your job, you can be forgiven. But the consequence is you will probably lose your job. If you lie to your parents, you can be forgiven of that. But you the consequence is your parents may have a harder time trusting you in the future. Your decisions could leave behind a big scar. Scars of regret, lack of trust, or missed opportunities.
- How you walk could leave a big scar. When I got home Wednesday night, I didn’t think I would have a big gash in my left leg. But I did. I slipped and fell. Now I have a reminder of what happened when I look down and up. I still have yet to receive the hospital bill. But it will come. That piece of mail never gets lost. How you walk may leave behind a big scar. That mistake doesn’t have to define the rest of your life. You can be forgiven. Yet, it also important to note, that are consequences that will not necessarily just go away. When David committed sin with Bathsheba, it left a big scar, 2 Samuel 12:13. The good news was he was forgiven of his sins. This is something important to remember. We will fall short at times. But with God we can be forgiven, 1 John 1:8-10. Don’t ever forget that. Judas the apostle forgot and took his life, Matthew 27:1-5. Be careful how you walk. Be wise and listen to what God says in His heart. Listen to the wisdom your parents give to you. Do something else. Consider the scars of others. Learn from other people mistakes and strive not to make the same ones. Look at the scars you may already have. I have two scars on my wrist. I punched a glass screen door when I was younger. It left a scar and lots of consequences. I haven’t done that again since.
- You will need help. I fell. I complained. I was embarrassed. I needed help. Nikki made me get help. All I thought of was “Deductible.” I got a tetanus shot. I got some antibiotics. I got a lot of encouragement from Nikki and Josh. Richard will help me fix it. I got mad at my mistake. I have resolved to be more careful. Yes, I’ve been back up there. I’ve made the necessary provisions to ensure I don’t slip like that again. When you fall it may leave a scar. It may be really embarrassing. But get back up. Get help. King David had to keep on living. He messed up. He needed help, 2 Samuel 12:13. He would continue with God. Do the same. The apostle Peter had a really bad night, Matthew 26:74-75. He would need help, Luke 22:31-34. In life, we all need help. When you fall and make a mess, be sure to let your Father in heaven help you. He wants the best for you. He loves you even when you sin and fall short. He wants to forgive you. He’s a God of second chances. Let your parents, elders, brethren, and friends help. And help yourself. Learn from your mistakes and get better. We don’t read of another case of adultery for King David. He learned. We see Peter being bold for Jesus. He learned from his mistake.
- Do the same. We have God’s word so can know how to walk, Psalm 119:105.
- Read it. Listen to it. Be careful how you walk. Always walk with your Savior.