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Adultery:  A Terrible Investment

Robert Orben said something worth thinking over when he wrote this: "Don't smoke too much, drink too much, eat too much, or work too much. We're all on the road to the grave but there's no need to be in the passing lane." The comment echoes a warning sounded in Romans 6:23a: the wages of sin is death." Centuries have come and gone, but, like the law of gravity, that spiritual truth has not changed. As some sage observed, "It is unlikely there'll ever be a reduction in the wages of sin." Consider the high cost of the popular sin of sexual immorality. I say this sin is popular based on statistics, results from surveys and polls, and just plain old observation of the culture around us. Sexual sin of every stripe and kind has been sanitized and baptized in the modern language of secular thinking and relativity that says "if it feels good, do it." Ernest Hemingway verbalized a philosophy that (mis)guides millions today in a 1970's article entitled, "The Second Sexual Revolution" — "What is moral is what I feel good after, and what is
immoral is what I feel bad after" (quoted by Rick Atchley, Sinai Summit, p 17). But Hemingway conveniently left any
mention of God out of that statement. He and those who live that way don't want you to notice that human experience is screaming at the top of its lungs that what feels so good to us today can, on the morrow, prove to be very, very bad for us.  How much does sexual sin, particularly adultery, cost? David Yount addressed this question in an article entitled: "The Cost of Adultery" (knoxnews.com; 11/29/04) — ". . .sexual straying from marriage remains a costly, if not criminal, idea. It was recently estimated that the typical adulterous husband invests almost $26,000 over a four-month period in conducting an extra-marital affair. Once his wife discovers his philandering, he can count on another $5,000 in legal bills, plus an $1,800 deposit on a place to live after she ejects him from their home. Quite apart from its immorality, adultery is a terrible investment. . . ."

Besides the high financial costs, of course, there are the immeasurable costs that can't be calculated in dollars. Those costs include broken homes, broken hearts, broken happiness — in short, broken human beings. Whether we are talking about David's adultery with Bathsheba or the latest case of adultery down at the factory or office, or, God forbid, down at church, adultery is a terrible investment. The Bible warns us bluntly about this sin. That warning is stated clearly and pointedly in Ephesians 5:3, 5 — "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting forsaints . . . For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience." Adultery is a terrible investment. It pays a temporary pleasure but its costs can include a permanent loss of a clear conscience, self-respect, sexual purity, love and trust of a mate and family, and emotional scares on all who are close to the parties
involved. It often costs a lot of money, and, unless repented of, it always costs a right relationship with God. No wonder they call it cheating. You can bank on it – if you invest in adultery it will cheat you.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ