Unintended consequences have plagued all of us at one time or another. Sometimes our selfish actions hurt others and other times they hamper our development. It is easy to wonder what would have happened if we chose a different path in our decisions. Never-the-less, we all have to face the repercussions of our actions at one time or another.
What if you could go back in your life and change one decision that you made? What would that decision look like? I often wonder about the impact that I have on other peoples lives. Do my positive actions build people up and bring them closer to God? Or do my negative actions have unintended consequences that I cannot see?
As a father, I try to do my best at raising my children the way that God would want me to. Do I make mistakes? Sure, all of the time. Do these errors have unintended consequences for my children? Yes. What bothers me quite a bit is seeing the many children from the next generation being raised without God. Look no further than your social media. How do adults conduct themselves online? These actions often bleed into family life as well.
Unintended consequences affect others close to us.
Just take a look at some of your friends on Facebook. Do you see a friend with a beer in his hand always partying and frequently getting drunk? Have your friends posted photos of scantily dressed women depicting them in a negative light? Are jokes and memes circling your page that God would find offensive? Does your friend keep posting status updates of depression, substance abuse or a failed marriage?
Nowadays, everything we say and do online is forever etched in cyberspace. The embarrassment of a former life or a rough patch is at the helm of a quick Google search.
When you see people putting their lives and innermost thoughts on social media, you have to wonder. You have to wonder if these things will yield unintended consequences in the future. Will your children someday see the negative post you wrote about your spouse? How will your children react to seeing dad drunk all of the time? Will these children follow in your footsteps because of the online example that you led? Chances are most of these behaviors exist at home as well.
Things that we do always have outcomes. Some of the results are positive and some yield consequences. The verse below from Proverbs reminds me to be careful of the example that I set for my children. Take a look at it and see if you are proud of the example that you lead.
Proverbs 22:6 NASB Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.