Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Ripple Effect

It pains me beyond description that I feel the need to even address the issue of sin. However, since it has been a problem since the beginning of time, it's silly of me, actually, to be so alarmed when I see it happening, even within the church body. What I don't get is this mind-set that so many of us have that our sins are simply our sins. This is a huge deception!

When I sin, I hurt God, I hurt myself, but it goes beyond even that - WAY BEYOND! There have been times in my past when I deliberately disobeyed God and the repercussions significantly damaged others besides myself. Friends, family, the name of Christ - all hurt because of decisions made based on selfish desires.

An illustration could be tossing a pebble into a pond. You see the initial plunge and then... the ripples, which start at the center, but then continue to go outward in all directions. Now I know that was a very elementary explanation. Sadly, we all need simple reminders. We are not alone in this world. Our decisions go way beyond us. There are multitudes of people who will feel the effects of our day-t0-day decisions and choices.

Exodus 20:4-7
You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

When we choose to sin, we are choosing to bring pain not only into our lives, but into many innocent bystanders (for lack of a better word). We are essentially saying that OUR wants are more important than anything or anyone else.

Thankfully, mercifully, there is always an opportunity for redemption! Jesus tells us over and over again that if we will confess our sins and repent (turn away from), we will be forgiven. However, we need to remember that the repercussions don't magically vanish; we will most likely still suffer the consequences. But we can rest in the assurance that God can and will grow us, even improve us - if we are willing to surrender.

1 comment:

XOXO Dr. Kay Elizabeth said...

That is true about how we affect the innocent bystanders in our lives. I don't think people realize how sins not only affects the sinner but those close to the sinner or connected to the sinner. We are all connected in one way or another and to me sin is a selfish act, regardless of what sin it is. Sin of pleasure can bring a life into this world that you;re not prepared to handle and negatively impact or affect a child's life. Our disobedience can delay someone else's deliverance. Sins really does have a ripple affect to those around us and connected to us. Have a great day.