I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself as I began to apply aloe lotion to my son’s bright red back. Seth’s lobster skin was the result of a play day with a friend that had involved swimming and lots of running around in the sun.

One look at Seth’s freckled face and you can see he has very fair skin, the kind that tends to sunburn easily. This means that he usually has to load up on the SPF 50 sunblock and almost always wears a sun block shirt to protect his tender skin from the sun’s rays. His tendency to burn easily was exacerbated that day by the fact that this was his first venture with his winter-white skin into our summer sun season.

Unfortunately, on this play day Seth yielded to peer pressure and listened to his young cohort’s advice that “since it isn’t very hot, you don’t need the shirt.” The result was a bad case of sunburn and a number of sleepless nights and painful days for my little buddy.

We chatted as I applied the lotion and at some point I asked him if he had learned anything from his experience. As a Boy Scout, he really understood the difference between a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burn. He also said how he realized that “his friend didn’t mean him any harm but he shouldn’t have listened to him.” But what really caused me to chuckle was when he said, “I got consequenced by the sun.”

Consequences are something that Lori and I have been consistently teaching the kids. Of course not always, but many times when bad things happen, it’s because of the bad choices we’ve made. Seth’s words just revealed that he had grasped the idea that his sunburn was the result of his bad choices.

Far too often people fail because they make bad choices, and then they fail to accept responsibility for those choices. We all make mistakes and hopefully if we learn from them, we will not repeat them. Everything we do and say produces consequences, both good and bad, so making wise decisions and right choices will help yield good results. As the Bible tells us, “A man reaps what he sows” (Gal. 6:7)—which in Seth’s case meant he got “consequenced by the sun.”