How Will Your Decision Affect Others?
“Each of us will give an account of himself to God. Try to live in such a way that you will never make your brother stumble by letting him see you doing something that he thinks is wrong.” (Romans 14:12-13 TLB)
One of the biggest mistakes we make in life is forgetting how much our actions influence the people around us. Every day you are tempted to make decisions that may be the best thing for you but could have a devastating effect on the people around you. If you want to make wise decisions, you need to ask, “Will my choice harm other people?”
That’s the opposite of our culture. Our culture teaches us to think only of ourselves. But God expects you to think more of others than you do yourself. In fact, the Bible says that one day you’re going to be judged by God on how your decisions affected other people.
Romans 14:12-13 says, “Each of us will give an account of himself to God. Try to live in such a way that you will never make your brother stumble by letting him see you doing something that he thinks is wrong” (TLB).
You may not like hearing this, but whether you like it or not, you are being watched — all the time. If you’re a parent, you should be especially aware that little eyes are always watching you. You’ve got to be careful about what you say and do because you’re influencing not just your life but the next generation as well.
Show respect for authority. If a police officer pulls you over for a ticket, even if you think he’s wrong, you treat him with respect.
Don’t call in sick when your family is actually going to the beach for the day.
Don’t bring supplies home that you stole from the office to use for personal benefit.
Don’t brag in front of your kids about all the ways you’re ripping off Uncle Sam in taxes.
Don’t watch the awful stuff that’s on TV and in the movies with your kids. Think about if you should be watching it at all.
Mature people limit their freedom for the benefit of others. Because you’re afraid of what other people think? Of course not. You do it out of love. In situations where there is no clear right or wrong, you have to ask yourself, “How will my decision affect other people?”
Talk It Over
- How does pride get in the way of considering how your choices affect other people?
- Does it matter if the other person thinks what you’re doing is wrong even if you think it’s right? Why or why not?
- What does it mean to limit your freedom for the benefit of others?
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