The unintended consequences of our actions

Judgement, karma, call it what you will, our actions in this world have consequences. A fling with another woman, and you find your marriage breaking up. A casual lie, and you find yourself stressing not to get caught out. What goes around comes around, sooner or later. Actions are not without consequences.

But are the consequences of our actions always forseeable?

What about the harmless prank that goes horribly wrong, or the small oversight that leads to an industrial accident? Tragedies that result, not from a deliberate act, but just a careless one.

What about the tragedies that arise out of our best intentions?

One of the weakness of the ‘sin as lawbreaking’ view is that it implies sin arises from intention, and conversely, where good intensions prevail no sin has occurred. Yet the scriptures suggest sin has far more insideous ripple effects in this world. What about you, have you ever suffered from unintended injustice?

One thought on “The unintended consequences of our actions

  1. A man and a woman leave a pub, the woman drives as she has drunk less. She drives a little too quickly for the conditions and perhaps she experiences a difficulty in controlling the car. They set off intending only to get home and not expecting there would be anyone walking down the lane or that the car might mount the pavement. They merely took the risk. Unfortunately the unintended consequences of their relatively low key decisions and risk assessment resulted in a young women having a leg amputated and months, even years, of hard work and turmoil for her and her family.
    The driver appeared at the trial to be “in bits” having developed agoraphobia, unable to get into a car and undergoing psychiatric treatment.
    That’s the everyday face of of how huge unintended consequences can be. The question of forgiveness is complicated. What is to be forgiven? What is to be excused? Who forgives what? What is the relationship between love and anger? And is anger proportionate? Is anger ‘appeased’ by forgiveness? …


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