The Ripple Effect

November 18th, 2011


Joshua 7:13-26

Right now I’m teaching my five-year-old the importance of treating others respectfully. Our code of conduct includes eliminating words like “stupid” and “shut up” from our vocabulary and avoiding name calling. One day while running errands, a driver cut me off and almost caused an accident. I honked my horn and shouted “Stupid people! Watch where you’re going!” My son promptly repeated my words. But it did not end there. Like Pavlov’s dog, my son shouted “People!” every time he heard a car horn. It wasn’t until months later that he stopped saying it.

I set a poor example for my son that day by failing to consider the ripple effect of my words and actions. The same was true for Achan. Because of his disobedience, his family suffered punishment as well.

The truth is, our words, actions, and choices are a natural extension of what is in our hearts, and we must carefully consider the ripple effect they can have. Learning from our mistakes is not just for our benefit, but also for our family, friends, community of believers, and any little ears that may be listening.



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