When Abram arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians took one look and saw that his wife was stunningly beautiful. Pharaoh's princes raved over her to Pharaoh. She was taken to live with Pharaoh.
Because of her, Abram got along very well: he accumulated sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, men and women servants, and camels. But God hit Pharaoh hard because of Abram's wife Sarai; everybody in the palace got seriously sick.
What a world it would be, where everyone's choice only affects themselves! But that's not how it is, and we know it.
Distracted by my ringing cell phone, I admittely and ashamedly almost ran through a red light today. That wasn't the only close call. I put my car in reverse to back out of a one-way parking spot when out of nowhere a truck came barreling through the parking lot the wrong way, narrowly missing my back end. There was someone to blame in both of these near misses. In the first close call, it was my fault...I shouldn't have let a ringing cell phone come before my driving. In the second close call, the other driver was at fault...he disobeyed the traffic flow of the parking lot. Regardless of who is to blame, had an accident actually occured, others would have been affected by one person's wrongdoing. Had I actually ran the red light, I could have seriously injured another person and wrecked their vehicle all because of my wrongdoing. Let's say the wreckless driver in the parking lot had actually collided with me. I could have been seriously injured by his offense and the back end of my car would have been nonexistent!
I thought about those incidents today and concluded that rarely does sin against God affect only the offender.
Lane Craig Thompson says, "... God's rule for our lives says that what we do will affect others -- good or bad. The lack of purity will bring shame, doubt and defeat into the local body of Christ, and others will eventually succumb to the temptation to sin. The commitment to purity will bring about a community of healing and freedom unlike anything the world has ever known."
Our sin can affect others. No one is an island. The negative affects from individual sins can resonate in ways that we cannot predict.
Father God, help me take my sin seriously...to recognize it, admit it, and confess it. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.