Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I know you have tossed a pebble into a body of water, whether it be a puddle, pond or a lake. The ripples start at the point of impact and move outward to the boundaries of the water. It’s interesting to see how far they travel.

And I know you have heard of the term “ripple effect.” Webster’s defines it as:

A spreading, pervasive, and usually unintentional effect or influence.

Webster’s uses industry as its example. How familiar is that in today’s world? A business shuts down. People lose jobs. Families have no money to spend on wants and sometimes needs. Their personal lives suffer. The local economy is impacted negatively. And on and on it goes.

The way I respond to any given situation also has a ripple effect. It can be negative or positive. If someone spills or breaks something here at home, what good is scolding or complaining? It makes me feel bad, and it makes the person who had the accident feel bad. Then they (or all of us) may scold the dog. We may do a less-than-adequate job on a task at-hand. We may be argumentative with each other the remainder of the day. The spill or break is not undone, and everyone feels terrible.

(Have you ever heard the saying, “If Mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy?”)

Lord, please forgive me, for worse than anything, my witness for You is now tarnished.

If I respond in a positive manner in the same situation, the mood of the house may change for the good. “Hey, Mom didn’t get upset about the broken/spilled whatever!” No one feels bad or hurt at me. Pleasant words are exchanged. Peace is maintained. And maybe, just maybe, the joy monitor in the house jumps just a bit.

In James 1:19-20, we read:

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

I am in awe of people who hear something and take time to respond. What Godly examples they are.

Yesterday I spoke of some personal goals for 2010. One I did not mention was that I want to live each day as if it is my last. I don’t want to take part in brave and daring activities or “boldly go where no man has gone before.”

My hope and prayer is simply that I can lie down to sleep each night in peace and with no regrets from the day.

Lord, please remind me to listen first and speak later. Remind me, Lord, that my anger is not what you desire. Please let my words and actions have ripples that are positive and far-reaching … for Your Glory.

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