Is it okay to cheat the tax man? If someone gives you the more change than they should at the checkout, is it wrong to keep it? Is it wrong to go over the speed limit – especially when you are in a hurry? That movie only has a couple of questionable scenes – it will not affect me – or will it? The occasional swear word is okay or maybe it is always okay. Disciplining our children in anger, berating them with our words, “you little brat….” – really? Does God talk to you like that?
What about the secret sins, the ones we do by ourselves, so no one else will know. Overeating, binge eating, drinking, caffeine, taking too much medication to feel better, shopping, worrying, lusting or pornography.
Do any of these items listed “grab you”, you read it and it gnaws away at your gut? Guess what, we all have something that “grabs us”.
What do we do with this stuff? We can ask God for forgiveness and He is always ready and gracious to forgive but does that mean there are no consequences for our actions? It does not work that way.
God forgives but there are still consequences, go back to the physics we learned in school: Newton’s Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
In everything I do, someone or something else is affected; whether I think they are or not.
That is the ripple effect, waves that go out from my actions and have far-reaching effects.
I have been amazed at the number of people who do not think that the decisions and actions they make will affect other people or themselves. Maybe in our world of “tolerance”, we have tolerated to the point of thinking that our actions regardless of smart, right or whatever will have no lasting influence or affect other people. WRONG
Whatever I do affects other people. If I make some dumb mistake it will affect other people AND there will be consequences.
I heard a little sermon that has stuck with me this past while. From the moment we wake up in the morning to when we close our eyes to sleep, we are bombarded with “stuff”. Our brains are assaulted by the world around us: computers, radios, tv’s, cell phones, ipads, music, other people. If we are so surrounded by media and noise all day/evening long, when does God get to speak? In the commercials?
Even on Facebook now there is little advertising pops up on our screen begging for our attention and our focus. Does God have to do that to get our attention as well? Or are we setting time aside each day to spend directly with Him?
How much can we hear from God unless we intentionally set some silent time aside each day and listen without outside influence? I, personally do not only want to hear God in my commercials, I want Him to have His own series.
God is calling us, men and women, to a higher moral standard than the world has—are you listening or following along with the crowd? In order to listen, it requires us to be listening a lot more than most of us are.
When we spend time with God, we change, what an awesome ripple effect on the world that would be!