Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (Helaman 6)

by | Apr 17, 2019 | Scripture Study | 1 comment


We probably all experience occasions in our lives when negative consequences result from actions we take that may later seem rather questionable. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, someone may even ask us — or we may even ask ourselves — “Why would you do such a thing?” Sometimes, the only answer we can give — as lame as it may be — is, “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Sometimes, the consequences of doing something that seemed like a good idea at the time are minimal and can be laughed at later. To see a few short videos depicting this, click here.

However, when the actions taken are sinful in nature, the consequences may be such that we won’t be laughing when we look back and wonder why we did it. Helaman 6 recalls a few such examples from the scriptures, adding that the devil is the source of these “good ideas”:

  • Adam and Eve knew that God had told them not to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. However, the serpent told them that if they ate it, they would become as gods, knowing good and evil. It seemed like a good idea at the time. However, the consequences of their actions — expulsion from the Garden of Eden and eventual death — were severe and affected all mankind.
  • According to Helaman 6:27, the devil convinced Cain that he could kill his brother and nobody would find out about it. Based on this, it must have seemed like a good idea at the time — perhaps Cain thought his sacrifices would be more acceptable to God if he didn’t have to compete with his brother. However, God cursed Cain such that he was a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth, causing Cain to remark, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.”
  • Building a tower tall enough to reach heaven must have seemed like a good idea at the time since the people actually began working on the project. However, any plan to try to get to heaven without serving God is obviously inspired by the devil. God wound up confounding the languages of the people such that they couldn’t understand each other so the project was effectively terminated.

Notice that in all of the above examples, what the people did seemed like a good idea AT THE TIME. Later on, they realized that it really wasn’t a good idea at all. This is how the devil works — he entices you to act without thinking it through and without considering the consequences. Although it is sometimes tempting to just take a leap without having to always be thinking about what will happen later, remember that if the devil is inspiring the action, you will find out later that it was not a good idea at all, and you will regret taking that leap.

How can we tell when a “good idea” is actually coming from the devil?

When the associated actions are contrary to what is taught in the Word of God.

It doesn’t matter if we think something good can come from it — the ends don’t justify the means. It doesn’t matter if we think we can “get away with it” — God sees all. It doesn’t matter if other people (family, friends or famous people) say it’s OK. God is the one who has defined what is good.

As servants of God, our goal should be to live as God has taught us to live. That was a good idea yesterday. It’s a good idea today. And it will be a good idea for ALL TIME.

Bio Jerry New

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.


1 Comment

  1. Julio Carrasco

    Is this page working at all?
    Will we see any pictures, gospel topics, general conference talks?
    like the old that was more friendly UI ?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Further Reading

Don’t Make Him Bring You Down

One Sabbath Day, Jesus is invited to have dinner at the home of one of the Chief Pharisees. Other Pharisees are also there, along with some lawyers. With this type of audience, Jesus takes advantage of the opportunity to bring forth several messages that He wants...

Read More

church service

Being in the Right Place at the Right Time

Jesus is teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath day and He sees a woman in the congregation who has been disabled for 18 years. Her body is bent over so severely that she can’t stand up straight. Jesus lays His hands on the woman, and she is immediately...

Read More

Never Miss a New Article

Subscribe to Our Email List
Sign up and get every new blog post sent straight to your inbox so you always have the day’s devotional at your fingertips.

We never share your email address with anyone for any reason, and we use it only to send you Gospel Blog emails. Just articles, not ads!

Your Story for God’s Glory

Share Your Testimony on Miracle Monday

We devote Miracle Monday to sharing miracle stories. From finding a lost wedding ring to healing cancer on the spot, Jesus Christ has done it all, big and small.

And we want to hear about what He’s done for you.

The Gospel Blog Is Open for Submissions

We encourage devotional-style or scripture-based articles in the ballpark of 500 words. We are open to any topic that glorifies God and unites the Church.