Beginning in 1940, Ralph Edwards began hosting a radio show called "Truth or Consequences." The show was so popular it ran on the radio for many years before becoming a television show that lasted until 1988, with hosts the likes of Edwards, Jack Bailey, and Bob Barker. Edwards ran a contest stating that he would air the show on its tenth anniversary at the town which was the first to change its name to "Truth or Consequences." On March 31, 1950, Hot Springs, New Mexico, changed its name to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, and the next evening the show was broadcast from there.
Edwards continued to visit the town the first weekend in May for the next 50 years. The town still holds a "Fiesta" every year in Ralph Edwards Park to continue the celebration.
That may all be a quaint and amusing historical fact, but let's make it a bit more serious this morning. What does it take for me to finally wake up and repent, or just examine myself for faults that need correcting, and then get to work fixing them?
Raising children and now, interacting with our grandchildren, reminds us of a basic truth of childrearing—reward or punishment (consequences) must immediately follow the deed. A child’s attention span is short, and the younger he is, the more important the timing. Even a child younger than one can quickly learn what “No-no” means when it is accompanied by consistent motivation—by consequences for his action.
But are we any better? Peter tells us that when God delays judgment for sin out of longsuffering and patience but we don’t respond, that we “willfully forget” (2 Pet 3:5-10). Paul says that when God forbears yet we do not repent, we are “despising his goodness” (Rom 2:4). It isn’t that we have the attention span of a toddler—we’re just plain stubborn.
Is that any more mature than a toddler? We have all seen children who understand the consequences and take them anyway. We cluck at their lack of common sense, their apparent unwillingness to learn any way but the hard way. We wonder what sort of adults they will become.
But you really don’t have to wonder. You are surrounded by them. Or, are you one of them, too?
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Ecclesiastes 8:11.