I have been thinking recently of the biblical idea that our decisions have consequences. The decisions we make today can sometimes have long lasting, and even unintended consequences.
Consider the decisions of King Jehoshaphat. He made decisions to form an alliance with the wicked King Ahab. What was probably viewed as merely a political move, turned out to be a decision that nearly cost the Messianic line of kings (2 Chronicles 18ff). Jehoshaphat was a good king to be sure, but he made a few decisions that God records for us that are meant to alert us to the dangers of seemingly mundane and harmless decisions. In his case, this one marriage decision had major effects for his children, and his grandchildren, and even his great-grandchildren.
Or consider the decision of Lot in Genesis 13 to move towards the wicked city of Sodom. Again, he probably thought very little of this move, but it was one step on the road to major moral compromise and decline. His decision to move to Sodom, and eventually become a part of Sodom nearly cost him the life of his family. It did cost the life of his wife, and the morality of his daughters. His own grandchildren became the enemies of Israel. Little did Lot know what his seemingly harmless decision would mean for generations to come.
There is no mistaking the fact that our decisions have consequences. Sometimes those consequences can have a major impact on our lives and our families. Sometimes, if we are in positions of leadership, our decisions can have major ramifications that ripple out from us and impact more people than we ever realized.
Pastors, the decisions that you make today for your flock do not always just impact your flock. They can impact other churches as well.
Parents, the decisions that you make today for your family can have major consequences for not only your children, but also your grandchildren and future generations.
O how much more important it is, then, to make sure that we carefully consider not only our personal decisions, but even how those decisions can have even negative consequences upon others around us - in our families, in our churches, and in other "sister" churches as well.
"Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap" (Galatians 6:7) is almost a haunting New Testament principle. May we carefully and prayerfully consider our ways, and the decisions that we make, all for the glory of God.