You Can’t Un-Ring a Bell

During a recent Sunday School lesson based on Genesis 3, our teacher used a fascinating idiom. Although it was new to me, its meaning was obvious. The teacher said, “You can’t un-ring a bell.” The reference was to the fact that once Adam and Eve had disobeyed God and sinned, they couldn’t undo their action.

What a simple, yet profound truth! It is well worth remembering in our daily walk through life. Once an action is taken, it can’t be undone. Once something has been done, it is unwise to act as if hadn’t happened. We have to live with the consequences of the action. Neither can we rescind information that has been shared with others, especially when it is damaging to a person’s reputation. Attempting to do so is as futile as trying to “un-ring” a bell.

There is a slogan used by a commercial cleaning business that states, “Like It Never Happened”. It may be possible to apply the slogan to cleaning and restoration after a waterline break or smoke damage, but not to action involving other people and especially involving God.

Biblical examples and warnings abound. The tragic events surrounding David’s relationship with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12) serve as a powerful reminder of the principle advanced in this devotional. Jephthah’s story found in Judges 11-12 is another chilling case of an action that could not be rescinded. Fellow pilgrims, let us carefully weigh our actions in light of God’s word and His will for our lives.

The following Scripture provides us with wonderful truth: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.  Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me” (Psalm 19:7-13, NKJV).

Conclusion: You Can’t Un-ring A Bell

~ Brother Roy

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