The Ripple Effect

Your actions and decisions affect people around you and even those who aren’t.

I had the opportunity to see a man today who has had an incredible impact on me. He didn’t disciple me, mentor me, counsel me. If you totaled up the number of minutes we’ve spent conversing over the course of my life, they wouldn’t add up to much.

But 32ish years ago my sister was riding the school bus with his daughter. They struck up a “school bus friendship.” Several months into this she invited my sister to go to church with her family. My sister agreed to go, my parents followed the next week, and my family went from a non-religious one to a faithful church going one from then on.

32ish years later I’ve got a family of my own and I’ve been a Christian for some time now. But where would I be had that family 32 years ago not invited my parents to church? What if they had thought it embarrassing, or unimportant, or a waste of time?

I tell this story today for several reasons.

1. I’m deeply grateful to that family (but not nearly enough so). My Christian genealogy traces back to them. What’s your genealogy look like? Have you expressed your thankfulness for them to God? Or even to them?

2. There is a ripple effect to our actions. God’s work doesn’t just happen in the deeply emotional conversations which end in praying to receive Jesus or vowing to change one’s life. It happens when you invite someone to church who will invite someone to church who will raise a kid who will impact the world by writing books that lead people to Christ. It happens when someone notices your unusual kindness and also notices you’re carrying a Crossing pen and a bible. Maybe they, in a change of direction, have a positive feeling towards Christianity which leads them to try a worship service months later. None of your actions are unimportant.

3. In the same way that our positive actions/decisions can have incredibly redemptive effects, our sinful acts can have the opposite effect. We should be encouraged by number 2, but sobered by number 3.

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