We can easily accept that this applies to objects in physics. We have a hard time believing that this applies to us, especially in other realms besides the physical (e.g. Emotional, mental, relational, and spiritual). However, I hope that what has been lost will quickly be found.
Oh, we know that it applies in situations like: we touch something hot and it burns; we get older and things start to hurt; we eat too much and gain weight; we work too hard and get tired. However, we don’t always transfer this law over to other realms: we don’t resolve fights or arguments and become bitter; we don’t spend quality time with others and grow apart; we focus too much on our job and family relationships decline; we were abused and struggle with anger; we were hurt by the church and so we no longer go.
I could go on and on, but you get the point. Actions, decisions, and behaviors have consequences. Newton’s law does apply to you and me! But way before Newton this was documented. In the bible, it states: “God will not be mocked; a man reaps what he sows.”
People show up in the counseling office for a reason. It is because behaviors (actions) over time have continued to reveal consequences (reactions) to the point of pain. Some try to numb the pain, but that only causes a different reaction (e.g. addictions, withdrawal, isolation, medications with side effects, divorce, bitterness, etc.)
Pain hurts, but is most helpful. Why? Because when we feel pain it rightly tells us that something is wrong. (My hand is burning because it’s on a hot stove; my head hurts because I drank too much alcohol; my heart hurts because it’s been broken.)
Let’s focus on the last one: My heart hurts because it’s been broken. This kind of pain is often worse than physical pain. In fact, it can actually manifest itself as physical pain many times. If you’ve been there, you know how much this hurts, and it hurts for a reason. The reason is something was wrong and you are now dealing with the reactions (consequences) of what went wrong. (I know this isn’t rocket science, but believe me…many people do not get this and that is why I stay so busy. Please read on and take this to heart. I would be blessed to be worked out of a job.)
People do not understand that their actions have consequences. For example:
Paul and Gina were madly in love and got married over ten years ago. They were good to each other at the beginning like most couples but soon some things began to get on each others’ nerves. They swept it under the rug and tried to just forgive and forget (which is nonsense by the way.) So they went on with their lives, and pretty soon they notice that they aren’t quite as in love as they used to be.
Now, they have kids, so they pretend everything is ok. Things aren’t terrible, but they aren’t great. Their relationship become like a business. They talk only about the kids, work, finances, and other life issues. They don’t have fun together like they used to. They no longer dream together or laugh together. How can they? They are so busy with everything and there are so many demands weighing them down!
Paul and Gina now decide to work more because everyone knows that more money will solve their problems. (Yea right!) Then they decide that they need to do what they like to do more and hang out with their friends. All the while, years have gone by, and they haven’t focused on each other hardly at all.
Do you not think there will be some serious consequences from these actions? Here are a few probabilities:
Consequence #1: They have fallen out of love.
Consequence #2: They have turned to other things to try to fill the void of their relationship.
Consequence #2: They have now actually begun to believe the grass is greener on the other side.
Consequence #3: Their kids haven’t learned how to love someone unconditionally and for a lifetime.
Consequence #4: They separate or divorce.
Consequence #5: One or more of their kids follow in their parents’ footsteps
We do not have to be like this. If you believe actions have reactions, as Newton did, then begin today by making positive changes (positive actions) such as being selflessly loving to your spouse and others. Also, you may begin by humbly apologizing for past mistakes and committing to new habits and behaviors that build others up.
The best thing about Newton’s law is that it applies to the good we do as well!