“You make God tired with all your talk. ‘How do we tire him out?’ you ask. By saying, ‘God loves sinners and sin alike. God loves all.’ And also by saying, ‘Judgment? God’s too nice to judge.'”—Malachi 2:17 (Message)

This week, I heard some really disturbing news from a friend of mine.  She is currently awaiting the results of her HIV test.

However, it’s not that part that jolted me so much as how she got herself in the position to need one in the first place.  Long, sad story short, the guy she has been seeing for the past three months has known that he was HIV positive for the past seven.  They have been having unprotected sex (which I know from personal experience that any sex outside of marriage is basically unprotected sex on one level or another) the entire time.  As if that were not disgusting enough, he didn’t even have the courage to tell her; his parents did.

Talk about a bonafide coward.

But still, that is not the worst part of the story.  As she awaits the news of her physical fate, she is contemplating staying with him.

Can you believe it?!?

The man who, if she wanted to take him to court, could be tried; the man whose “love” might be her ultimate death sentence; the man who not only encouraged her to have sex outside of a covenant, but also outside of a condom has her so soul tied that she is not wanting to leave.

“He said he was scared to tell me,” she explained.

The first thing that came to my mind other than “If I ever meet this dude, I will probably try to strangle him” was that God’s Word says that perfect love casts out all fear (I John 4:18).  He wasn’t scared of what she would think.  He was scared that if he told her the truth she would choose her life over his libido.  Good. As L’Oreal so poignantly states in their advertisements, “She’s Worth It”.

But still, even with all of that information, it was the last thing she said to me that made me decide to blog this out: “When I was promiscuous, I never got HIV, but now that I am monogamous and in a committed relationship, I might have it.”

This made me think of the parable of the unclean spirit.  If you’ve never read it before, I’ve enclosed it below:

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”—Matthew 12:43-45 (NKJV)

I must tell you that even at my weakest moments (because again, I’ve never said that abstinence is fun.  I’ve just accepted that it’s necessary), this is one tale that God continues to bring to my mind.  The thing about my friend is that her story proves that it’s more than just a parable; somewhere in the world, this happens every day in real life.

To me, when it comes to sinful behavior, it’s no longer the Enemy that scares me.  The Bible provides me with so much information about him that I know what he wants and how he thinks.  No, it’s actually my potential to not pay attention that’s more of the sobering thought.  Isn’t it amazing how the Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and yet daily we will go out and do what we want, when we want, how we want and try to act shocked when there are actual consequences?  And, what’s worse is that when God shows us enough respect to honor our choice, even when he knows it’s not good for us, we want to blame the outcome on him.

If my girlfriend is HIV positive, God didn’t do that to her, but get this: neither did the devil.  Science says that choosing to have unprotected sex with someone could lead to the outcome of contracting HIV.  Now, it’s God’s grace or the Enemy’s guilt that can make it an easier or harder situation than it has to be, but even that will be up to her.

I enclosed a lead scripture in today’s message because this week was the first time that I came across the Message Version of it.  Do you know how many people in my world are having (illicit) sex, selling drugs, abusing their spouses, ignoring their children, not having a relationship with God because they believe that since God loves all sinners, there will be no serious consequences of their sin?  God never said that.  As a matter of fact, it’s scriptures like Malachi that tell us just the opposite.

Just yesterday, I went to see the movie “Becoming Jane” and without giving it away, I will say that all of you women whose men have moved on and you haven’t, it could do you some good to check out what happens when you don’t by going to see the flick.  Anyway, one of the characters said something that I had to fumble in the dark to write down so that it could stay with me always:

“Vice leads to difficulty; virtue to reward.”

Someone is reading this right now and contemplating making a choice that they know is physically and spiritually compromising.  I’ve been there…more than once…just this week alone, but before you do anything potentially self-destructive, I encourage you to read this blog again.  Print it out and place it on your bedpost or car window if you have to.

God’s judgment is real.  The Enemy’s agenda is real.  But it’s your power to choose that you should be the most aware of.  The power of choice is powerful.  Just ask Adam and Eve.

…or most recently, my friend.