The Cost of Disobedience

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For weeks and days leading up to Friday, October 21, 2016, I anticipated putting a rinse in my hair to cover the many gray hairs that had suddenly appeared. I’ve been having gray hairs (a string here and there) showing up since my late twenties (around 26-27), but to be 32 with a crown of gray hair (in the center of my head) and mounting grays on the right side of my head (where I wear what I call my “swoop”) was too much. I just had to get rid of them. So I began my research on rinses and their effects, and afterward concluded that all was well. I could do my relaxer and rinse at the same time, without incident, and have a beautiful crown of brown hair again, after using the Clairol Beautiful Collection rinse, with no grays. 

Well, the time had come for me to “perform the operation.” About an hour before I did so, I sat down to read the Clairol bottle (I’d gotten earlier) to make sure that I’d do everything correctly, and would cause myself no hair loss or irritation of any kind. 

Now, I just said that I sat down to read the bottle to make sure I’d do everything correctly, right? However, upon reading the bottle, which advised me to do a skin test prior to putting the rinse in (which required 48 hours of testing), just to be sure I wouldn’t have an allergic reaction to it, I laughed and told my sister, “Who really does a skin test? …  and wait 48 hours? Oh no, I’ve got to do this today; I don’t have time to wait.” Neither of us saw the skin test as a necessity, but mainly as a precaution they’re required to put on the bottle to “cover themselves” should anything go wrong. 

Fast forward to my relaxer moment. (Note: This is going somewhere, sisters!)

Toward the end of the process, I could feel a slight burning sensation in my scalp, and could sense that I should probably wait to put the rinse in, just to be on the safe side. Welp, you know I didn’t listen, or else I wouldn’t be writing to you! 

Following the relaxer, I went through with the rinse. All was well in the first 15 minutes that it sat (I could sense that I should take it out right then), but about two minutes later, the burning started, so I immediately rinsed it out. I thought that by rinsing my hair with cool water the burning would stop, and it did for a brief period. But by the time I finished wrapping my hair, I could feel the throbbing again. I dismissed it, though, thinking my scalp was just a bit sensitive from the relaxer and the rinse (though it shouldn’t have been, according to my study). However, the throbbing and burning sensation in my scalp never stopped, and later on my vision started to blur. Still, I pressed through it, took some ibuprofen, and went to bed. Around 1:30 a.m., I awoke to my left eye burning and leaking. I kept trying to wipe it, but it continued to leak, so I got up and went into the bathroom. When I looked in the mirror, I was shocked to see my eye red and swollen (a first for me). “I’ve had an allergic reaction,” I thought. “Who would think all of this could happen from a rinse? Not a dye, but a rinse?” 

Immediately, I was flooded with my words of the evening… my jest at the directions on the Clairol bottle that advised me to test the product before using it. 

… And I was dejected. My disobedience was costing me, big time. I couldn’t sleep for the rest of the night (and subsequent nights, due to an inflamed scalp). I ended up in the E.R. at 5 a.m. the next morning… all because I did not adhere to the makers of the product (or the leading of the Holy Spirit during the relaxer and rinse phases).

Like this incident, many things in our lives could be avoided if we’d simply listen to our Maker. He has given us instructions for life and living in His Word. He admonishes us to listen to Him, to follow His instructions, and tells us that by doing so all will go well with us (Proverbs 4:20-23; Joshua 1:8). Nevertheless, as you well know, we often fail to follow His instructions and admonitions, and follow the way of sin instead. 

God tells us, “Only the marriage bed is undefiled.” We say, “Oh, I don’t have time to wait on a spouse; I have needs.”

God tells us, “Bad company corrupts good morals … come out from among them.” We say, “This is my good friend.  We’ve been together since childhood. I can’t turn my back on her. Besides, I can walk with God and her and not be affected. I’m a mature Christian.”

God tells us, “Do not walk according to the pattern of this world, but keep your eyes fixed on Christ and the heavenly world.” We say, “I don’t want to be so heavenly minded that I’m no earthly good! I can still listen to this or watch that without harming my soul.”

God tells us, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” We say, “But I love him…he’s my soulmate. I can change him.”

Etcetera. 

We freely allow sin to lead, instead of God, and then, when our worlds start crumbling (e.g., we’re intertwined in emotional ties, caught up in gossip, addicted to reality TV, or standing in divorce court), we pretend to be astonished. “What’s going on, Lord? Why am I going through all of this? I’m Your daughter; why didn’t You protect me?” But you see, sin promised you a good time, but it never revealed the truth that lay beneath: it will cost you.

Disobedience will always cost us more than we want to, or are able to, pay.

When we pretend to know more than God does, we get more (much more) than we bargained for. This truth is not only on display in many of our lives, but it’s on display throughout the Bible also (which was written for us to learn from). We see it in Psalm 107 (see verses 10-22). We see it in Acts 27. We see it in the story of David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11), and in various other instances.   

Disobeying God, sisters, is always a recipe for disaster. Although some may think, as the wicked does (cf. Psalm 10), that sin can be gotten away with, because “surely” God missed this or that “little thing,” it cannot be. God sees and knows all. For “the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3).

That said, sisters, understand with all your heart that God won’t coddle you in your sin (although He does extend His forgiveness when we confess and repent). Disobedience will cost you. Your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23). 

If God has mandated that something not be done, dear friend, it’s because He knows that “something” will harm you (and potentially those around you also), in some way or form. Therefore, heed His advise, His infinite wisdom, and let your soul be satisfied in Him alone.

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