I remember, as a boy, how infatuated I would get by throwing a rock into a lake and watching the ripples appear one by one.
At first, the only impact to the lake was where the rock landed. There was a splash causing great disruption. Then in quick succession ripples appeared. Each ripple impacted a greater area of the lake. The ripples continued even after the initial splash area returned to its original state. Eventually the entire lake feels the effect of that one rock thrown into the lake.
I have witnessed many times the devastation resulting from one eruption within a relationship. Statements like these are made: “We can deal with this.” “Nobody else will be affected.” “The children will be okay.” “Children are resilient.”
The statements may change but the underlying belief is that people can contain the damage from one explosion, one attack, one separation, one bad decision, one selfish move, one fling, one divorce, etc.
Something I have learned in life is how deceptive the human mind can be. We can talk ourselves into believing the craziest ideas if we want to. In his prayer of repentance, David said that God desired truth in the inward parts. The most difficult person to be honest with most of the time is our self.
One selfish decision does not simply affect the one making it. Rather, that one selfish decision will impact every relationship the person has. But the ripples don’t stop there. They continue through several layers of relationships. The ripples affect entire communities, entire congregations and ultimately people who have no direct connection to the one initiating the selfish decision.
The ripples are not contained within the current generation either. Multiple future generations are impacted and their lives affected because of one selfish decision made many years previously.
The thought that permeates our society is “Who cares?” “What is it to me.” “Deal with it.” This concept goes back to a fellow by the name of Cain who initiated sibling rivalry. When God came asking where his brother was, Cain said, “How should I know. Am I responsible for him?”
So, what does all this have to do with reversing the ripple?
Rather than making a selfish decision creating a negative ripple that may have eternal repercussions, make a selfless decision thereby keeping the negative ripple from ever happening. Reverse the ripple!
Every time you get involved and bring clarity to a life allowing them to make positive choices, you are reversing the ripple.
Every time you bring healing to the emotional well being of another person, you are reversing the ripple.
Every time you minister to the spiritual need of an individual, you are helping to reverse the ripple.
Every time you help put a marriage back together, keep a family intact or infuse health into a broken relationship, you are reversing the ripple.
Let’s make this a year of ripple reverses.
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Calm Lakes are worth the efforts and the prayers to keep them ripple-free. Great article!
What insightful words! In the midst of a ‘ME’ culture, most of us have forgotten how to put others first. Especially within the confines of the church, we must resist the spirit of ‘ I have a right’ and continually remind ourselves to, “walk in love” ( Eph. 5:2).
Great thought, thank you!