For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. Romans 14:7
This scripture is true. First, because the Spirit of God declared it through Paul. Secondly, because it relates to the myriad of ways I interact, or fail to interact, with other people. I can believe that if I’m a recluse, I won’t affect others. I’ll argue that I am protecting them from myself. While I may be sparing them of my negative influence, I am withholding something else that could be of value. Even the vacuum has an impact.
Words live. “The power of life and death is in the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21 If I call my child stupid, he will absorb the label and potentially struggle for life until someone tells him the truth. If I call another’s giftedness out of the dark and define it for him, I free him to discover his uniqueness in the family of God. My words have life-shaping ramifications.
Emotions live. A sullen face repels my children and makes strangers in public shrink from me. An angry demeanor frightens others. A depressed countenance causes others to worry about us. A period of grieving invites others to join me in my tears. Even though any of these emotions might have been expressed without words, it affects others profoundly. When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently him that is before thee. Proverbs 23:1 I can not let myself be enamored by someone’s status and believe that the honor of their invitation will only be a positive thing. Who they are, what they feel, what they have concealed; these all affect my entire being. Emotions have life-shaping ramifications.
Actions live. If I forgive when most others wouldn’t, people are stunned and consider the Gospel. If I am chase loving-kindness in a world of narcissists, the recipient is left with a lump in his throat. If I take out my anger at the driver of the car behind me, I potentially ruin his day. If I privately sin, habitually, and think it’s isolated, I carry around the demonic baggage of my stronghold and pollute the fellowship of friends and family. If I withdraw completely from those in my church, I deprive them of the unique ways God is expressed through my story. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly. Psalm 40:10 Actions have life-shaping ramifications.
A life lived in the power of God brings the kingdom to earth. That is cataclysmic.
Potential. My eyes are open to the ways Your Spirit works through me. Amen