I've heard that phrase so many times in my life. Usually by someone who is doing what should not be done... and does it knowing they shouldn't do it. That's their way of justifying whatever it is they want to do even though they know they shouldn't do it. They say "I'm only hurting myself." Are you following me? Good.
Do you know how I know this is true? Because I've done it. I've said it. I've had things in my life that I KNEW were wrong and yet did them anyway. Why? Because I believed that 'I was only hurting myself'. Or at least that's what I'd tell myself to ease the guilt. What a deception.
Does anyone agree with me? Is there any way that you can do whatever you please and not hurt anyone but yourself? Absolutely not! And do you know why? It's because you are not alone.
God sees. Your family sees. Your friends see. And it hurts them tremendously to see you hurting yourself. Besides hurting the people you love emotionally, there is a strong possibility that the wrong choices you make today will have a long term affect on their life as well. Maybe hurting them physically or by altering the direction or circumstances of their life.
I have seen my family through alcohol abuse as a child, and later through drug abuse as an adult. While either of these family members would be quick to say they were 'only hurting themselves'... I beg to differ. I don't recall a time more painful than those spent watching my loved ones destroy themselves. Emotional pain. It took away precious time with these loved ones that can never be replaced. It made them absent from our family... either mentally or physically. It altered our circumstances.
Then there's my mother. She has Emphysema. She has scarring on her lungs. She has trouble breathing at times. She coughs. She has mucus all the time. (Sorry, gross.) And there is nothing they can do to fix it or make it better. The thing is.... my mother doesn't smoke. She got it from second-hand smoke. Someone she lived with who smoked. I'm sure the person (people) thought they were 'only hurting themselves'. But in reality... they hurt my mother physically. I know it wasn't malicious or intentional. But it hurt her all the same.
And being a mom... let me tell you. I could not begin to list all of my bad decisions. The selfish things I did and then tried to justify it with "I'm only hurting myself". (Closely related to "Well... I'm not hurting anyone!") So not true! I bought the lies, planted them, and then my kids reaped the harvest. I made poor choices that altered the direction and circumstances of their lives.
Wrong choices have plagued us since the beginning of time. How were Adam and Eve to know that the selfish decision they made to eat the forbidden fruit would somehow affect not only them, but every person that would ever exist? I don't even think they had time to say "We're only hurting ourselves!" After all... they were the only ones there. Had they known... would they have made a different choice? I'd like to think so.
The Bible is full of examples of people just like you and me and Adam and Eve, who made decisions to follow their selfish desires. People who thought that what they did wouldn't hurt anyone but themselves... only to find the opposite is true. Take a look for yourself.
And now that you know that what you do can and will affect others... will you make better choices?
If we read God's Word... pray and seek Him... He will lead us. God's Word is a 'lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path'. Trust Him.
Until next time... Thanks for reading and God bless!
Mary Ann :)