WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 24, 2021
TOPIC: YOUR DECISIONS AFFECT OTHER PEOPLE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:18-19 New King James Version).
We all make decisions every day. Sometimes the decisions are major; sometimes they’re minor. They could be over important issues or ordinary things.
Different factors determine the decisions we make. Sometimes we don’t even recognize that some factors discreetly influenced our decisions. Nevertheless, our decisions have consequences, which some people fail to consider while making decisions. While some people may consider the consequences, they view them from their standpoint only. They consider how the decisions affect them alone. Thus, they make the mistake of underestimating the consequences of their decisions.
The truth is that your decisions don’t affect you alone. Your decisions affect others. The common counsel that you shouldn’t allow what other people feel or think to affect your decisions must be put into proper context. It would be wrong counsel when the decisions will affect the same people you don’t want to consider their feelings or opinions. What would be wise is to think deeply and decide whether your decision is a wise one and see how you can make those your decisions would affect buy into it or carry them along, not to rebuff them.
If by the nature of a decision, it is not open for discussion and it is your sole responsibility to make a decision, you will need to pray well, knowing that the decisions would affect the destinies of others. As Shakespeare said, uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. Leadership is a serious responsibility whether in a family, business, church, society, or nation. Decision-making is not something to be handled frivolously; it is something to be done taking into consideration all factors and most importantly being guided by the Holy Spirit.
Your decisions affect other people more than you may think. Even when it comes to personal decisions, you must realize that your decisions affect other people. Though you could say it is your life, you’re not living in isolation. Other people’s lives are connected to yours. Their lives affect you and yours affect them too. You would be selfish and myopic to think that your life’s decisions affect you only. Therefore, always consider how your decisions will affect others, including in situations when what is right or wrong may not be too clear. Ask yourself how your decisions will affect others.
A wife’s decisions affect her husband and vice versa. The decisions of a father or mother affect every member of the family. The decisions of one member of the family affect other members. An employer’s decision affects the employees and the external stakeholders. The decisions of one employee could also affect other employees and the company. In all these cases, if bad decisions are made, it is not only the person who took the decisions that will suffer.
When parents decide to divorce, for instance, it doesn’t affect them alone. The children are negatively affected. They suffer unjustly. A bad financial decision by parents, employers, and political leaders doesn’t affect them alone. Not only do others suffer, but they also suffer beyond what those who took the bad decisions could have imagined.
For instance, a bad financial decision by a political leader could cause an economic recession or depression, leading to the collapse of the economy, which results in workers’ retrenchment. This would lead to suffering for the families of the retrenched workers, including children who might have to drop out of school. Just one bad decision could have a huge and ripple effect, the end, which nobody can envisage.
Be careful when making decisions. While you may have the right to decide, know that it will have effects not only on you but also on others. Consider how your decision may affect them and decide whether your choice is right. It doesn’t mean that you’re allowing other people to control your life. It is just that these people are part of your life. For instance, before you resign from a job, have you considered how it will affect your spouse, children, landlord, etc? Sometimes some people don’t consider this; they don’t make realistic plans. But later, they have to face the reality when the pressure sets in later.
Romans 5:18-19 says, “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (New King James Version). Did you see that?
When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree which was in the midst of the garden that God had said they should not eat, the bad decision did not affect them alone. It also affected their offspring; it affected the human race. As stated in that scripture, the disobedience of Adam, whom God directly instructed not to eat the fruit, led to the judgment of God on the human race. This resulted in condemnation and death. Adam’s decision was a bad decision and it affected humanity, not Adam and Eve alone or their nuclear family only.
Conversely, another Man took the right decision, which also didn’t affect Him alone. Jesus obeyed the Father to come to the earth. The effect of His obedience also affected humanity, not Himself alone. The consequence of His obedience was the free gift that came to humanity, resulting in justification and eternal life. Be careful, your decisions don’t affect you alone. Factor into your decision-making how it may affect others and decide whether the decision is right or not.
The book of Romans talks more about the bad decision of Adam and the right decision of Jesus and the effect of both on humanity. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned — (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come” (Romans 5:12-14 New King James Version)
The passage continues: “But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)” (Romans 5:15-17 New King James Version).
God has not given us the assignment to judge Bible characters. He has allowed their stories to be written in the Bible for us to learn from. Our business is not to judge Adam and Eve. Many of us have done worse things than they did! The right attitude is to learn from them. They never envisaged that their single disobedience would lead to the fall of the human race. Learn from Adam and learn from Jesus. Obedience is a decision and disobedience is a decision. Obey. To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22). Make the right decisions. Avoid selfish considerations. Don’t think of immediate gratification. Look at the big picture.
Matthew 14:6-7 says, “But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask” (New King James Version). Herod had no idea that his decision to give Herodias’ daughter anything she might ask would lead to the untimely death of John the Baptist. He might have put John in prison, but there is nothing to suggest he wanted to kill him.
He must have thought that Herodias’ daughter would ask for women’s things! No. She didn’t ask for new dresses or shoes. She didn’t ask for money to go out shopping. She didn’t even ask for a headgear; she asked for a prophet’s head! “So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, ‘Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter’” (verse 8 New King James Version). What a demonic request from the pit of hell!
Herod was devastated, to say the least. What would he do? He had given the girl the latitude to choose what she wanted. He had made his promise with an oath before those present. “And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus” (verses 9-12 New King James Version). John’s life was terminated abruptly because of the bad decision of Herod.
How many innocent people have died because of the bad decision of someone who got drunk and still went to drive because he considered his interest alone? How many accidents have been caused by inconsiderate drivers who would not obey the traffic light because they had an urgent appointment to keep? How many marriages have collapsed and the spouses and the children suffered because of husbands or wives who were insensitive to the needs of their partners and children but only wanted to satisfy their lustful desires or pursue their selfish ambitions? Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (New King James Version).
Be careful when making decisions. Don’ let your emotions get the better of you. There could be more than what you’re seeing. The LORD told the prophet Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions” (1 Samuel 16:7 New Living Translation).
Always think about how your decisions may affect others. Don’t underestimate the effects of your decisions. Think deeply; think broadly. Let your decisions be motivated by love, not your selfish benefits. Jesus said, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12 New King James Version). A decision that will benefit you but harm others doesn’t show love.
Ask God for wisdom to make the right decisions. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5 New King James Version). Seek to make decisions that will please God. Seek not to do your will but His will (Luke 22:42; Matthew 26:42; 6:10; Luke 11:2; Hebrews 10:5-9; Psalms 40:8; 143:10).
Therefore, while you should consider the facts before making a decision, make sure you commit your decisions to God in prayer. “Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5 New King James Version). Remember that your decisions affect other people even more than you may think.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, deliver me from making selfish decisions or decisions that will have destructive effects on me, my family and friends, those around and those under my leadership. Help me to be sensitive to how my decisions affect others. I receive the wisdom to make the right decisions.
(For about 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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