40 They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 41 Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did. -2 Kings 17:40-41
Have you ever found yourself excusing the wrong things you do by saying, “I’m not hurting anyone”? We like to think that our wrongs only hurt us and that this somehow makes them more acceptable. However, the Bible offers many examples of how our sins impact the lives of others, even when we think they do not.
In 2 Kings 17, we are told that the Israelite worshiped both the Lord and other gods, among other problems. The writer noted that, “To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as they ancestors did.” Our kids and even our grandkids are likely to follow whatever example we set for them. While there are exceptions, many chronic sins of our culture are influenced by previous generations–the alcoholic who followed his parent’s alcoholic lifestyle, the divorce that followed the patterns of a person’s parents, an abusive parent who was in turn abused as a child who was abused by their parent. More examples could be given, but the principle is clear–our sins impact others.
What is the implication for our lives today? First, sin is serious. We can’t shrug our shoulders regarding issues of right and wrong. Second, let’s do all we can to honor God with our lives. The impact is both significant–and eternal. We were made on purpose and for a purpose. Let’s never forget that what we do impacts others, both for good and for bad. Use today to leaven an impact that points people to the love and life that God has called us to live.
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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.