Temporal Earthly Punishment for Sin

When I was younger, I have committed the mortal sin of impurity. Each time, something always bad happened to me the day after which seems unrelated to the sin.

I was able to stay pure for a while until recently. Suddenly, I was in a motor accident (I was in the back seat). Thank God no one was injured.

Is it possible, or even likely that God can hand out temporal punishments in response to our sins that are not the direct consequence of the sin? I’m not talking about a person who fornicates and gets an STD as a result. An example of what I’m talking about is a man who fornicates and suddenly an unrelated bad incident occurs.

And by punishment, I do not mean in a vengeful or wrathful way. I mean in a positive and helpful way. In all honesty, all the “bad things” that have occurred when I commit the mortal sin of impurity has always been helpful in reminding myself that what I’m doing is wrong. If anything, the bad things that occur seem to me be a sign of God’s love in helping me to strive toward the good instead of the bad.

What do you think?

Good questions.

I do not believe that God “hands out punishments” at all. Rather, things occur that are “consequences” of our actions. ST Paul writes in Romans 6:23 that “…the wages of sin is death…”. “Wages” can be looked at as, payment, reward, or consequences. So sin - has the consequence of death.

Now - to relate this to your question. Negative and positive things are going to happen in our lives. These will occur whether we are in a state of grace or not. However, how we think about and react to these things will be heavily influenced by where our heart is.
You saw lessons, or warnings, in these various events because your heart is seeking God and had a particular sin you were concerned about.
If you did not have this sin on your mind - you might have seen these events in a somewhat different way - but still with the heart of one seeking after God.

I hope this helps some.

Peace
James

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