Domino Effect

Have you considered the domino effect of your decisions? The truth is, our decisions have a domino effect not just in our lives but in the lives of others. However, this effect can be minimized when we learn how to say no to the good for the sake of the better.

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Have you considered the domino effect of your decisions? The truth is, our decisions have a domino effect not just in our lives but in the lives of others. However, this effect can be minimized when we learn how to say no to the good for the sake of the better.

 

Have you considered the domino effect of your decisions?

The Domino Effect Of Our Decisions

Some decisions are pre-mediated with a pre-determined outcome in mind. While other decisions tend to backfire on us. They leave us in a place of perplexity where we say to ourselves, “I didn’t see that playing out this way in my mind.”

Often times I’ve found myself making “good” decisions only later feeling frustrated for committing myself to something. Better yet, even in my good intentions, I ended up hurting someone.

As I learned to live within God’s priorities, my Pastor taught me something very profound. She encouraged me to make better decisions by learning to say: “no to the good, for the sake of the better.”

Too many times I went to her frustrated about situations I found myself in, all because I made a poor decision.

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Although I had good intentions, my decision had a domino effect that I had not anticipated.

My Decision For The Better

A few years ago, I had an opportunity to apply this life lesson. She asked me to teach a Mother’s Day message to our church. It just so happened to be the same day our son, a senior in high school, at the time, would be swimming at a regional’s swim meet.

Because we had already embraced a lifestyle of living within the God’s priorities, when we found out he made Regionals, we didn’t even give it a second thought. We knew we had to be present for his swim meet.

The Domino Effect Of My Decision

Was delivering a Mother’s Day message a good thing? Yes. However, watching our son swim at regionals was the better choice.

Why? Because, I can always teach a Mother’s Day message, but our son, will only swim in a regional swim meet, as a senior in high school once.

That meant, I had to say no to the good; which was delivering a Mother’s Day message; and say yes for the better. In this case, it was to attend the regional swim meet.

If I had chosen to preach the message as opposed to attending his swim meet, I would have given our son the impression that ministry is more important than my family. And that is not God’s order of priorities (God, Spouse, Family, Ministry, Work).

The decision I made, not only was the right decision; the domino effect showed our son, that he was more important to us than the ministry.

As a result, our son has and continues to support our ministry efforts as opposed to resenting them, because he has seen us prioritize him.

Mary And Martha

The story about Mary and Martha in the Bible, is a similar illustration in regards to saying no to the good for the sake of the better.

Luke 10:38-42 In the New Living Translation says; “As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” 41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Martha was more concerned about tending to housekeeping for her guests. While Mary chose to put the housekeeping down and focused her attention on Jesus; who was in her presence.

In other words, housework will always be there. And when Jesus is in your living room; sitting at his feet would be a much better use of your time.

In The End

Although I wear many hats, I refrain from saying that I’m busy. Rather, I live a productive life as: a wife, a mother, a co-pastor, and co-blogger. With that much productivity there’s always someone or something else demanding for my attention.

However, by choosing to live within in the priorities of God as a lifestyle; it has become habit to make decisions by asking myself: what do I need to say no to, for the sake of the better?

Have you been faced with making a difficult decision? If so, I encourage you to consider the domino effect of your decisions. Then make decisions by saying  no to the good for the sake of the better.

This post is being shared at Salt & Light Link Up.

~ Timberley Gray

 

8 Comments

  1. Tammy Rotzoll says:

    This is such a great post and one that I needed today! God is so good and always knows exactly what we need! Thank you for sharing, my friend!

    • Timberley Timberley says:

      Thank you Tammy for stopping by to read! I love when God does that, and I’m so glad He brought you what you needed for such a time as this! ~ Blessings

  2. Laura Thomas says:

    Such a good reminder of how our decisions affect those around us. I love the account of Mary and Martha—so much to learn right there 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Timberley! Stopping by from #saltandlightlinkup

  3. Kira says:

    So true! We must set out priorities based on what God says is best. I love hearing about how others are doing this.

  4. Diana says:

    Timberly,
    I have been reading through your Pinterest page and blog posts and I have truly been inspired by your posts. I have even shared a few with family and friends. 🙂 Because I have read a number of your posts, I was surprised by this one! I wholeheartedly agree that our decisions have a ripple effect. One tangible example, my sister and her husband have struggled for years in their marriage because of her husbands infidelity and drinking. Her husband is good guy, but comes from a rough non christian ranching background where his father had numerous affairs and even a long time girl friend on the side while married. That back ground, coupled with so any men in the church these days struggling with pornography and sexual additions, has caused him to have a very calloused opinion of Christianity. Like maybe this is all just a farce. But that began to change when my neice began to date a guy who seemed like he was the “real deal”. He came to him and asked if he could date my neice. In that conversation, he promised to keep her pure and protect her. He promised to honor him as her her dad and respect his wises concerning her. My brother-in-law had never experienced anything like that. That initial meeting, led to many others. As they talked, my brother-in-law’s heart began to soften, he began to really believe in this whole idea of purity and personal integrity. He began to try to stop drinking and making tiny milestones that really monumental on the inside. For the first time, he was seeing life as God intended it and it was BEAUTIFUL in his eyes!!! My neice and her new “courtship” spent lots of time around the family. He was earning everyone’s love, trust and respect, but expecially my brother-in-law’s. You could see a new peace on his face. It was a wonderful thing for their whole family to experience. Then, in a moment of weakness, that whole thing came crashing down. My brother-in-law came home to find out he had been coming back and sneaking into my nieces bedroom. My brother-in-law was livid!!! Partly because he was violating his daughter, but largly because he had violated his trust and destroyed his confidence this “real thing” or the ability of one to really truly live out a Christian life. That sent my brother-in-law into a frenzy and he began drinking more. There was lots of firey emotions and my neice ended up moving out in a very heated exchanged and has since married the boy *man*. But the ripple effects of his decision has had a such a huge impact on not only their lives, but the lives of my sisters whole family. Her husband has become very cynical and harsh. It’s is crushing my sister and destroying her as she struggles with how to live this out. Should she divorce, or should she stay. The impact it has had on her is totally depleating her, so that so little left to give to her family. She is worn out and weary, drained emotionally and physically. That effects her whole family as struggles to deal with normal childhood issues, the impact seems so bigger, she feels so overwhelmed and isn’t responding as well as she should. It has also affected the other family as they struggle with what to do. It has effected our whole family as my sons and daughters have watched my neice cross boundaries they knew she shouldn’t. And their communities, as both of them have a big impact on their communities and their actions have opened the door for others to consider “ maybe it’s ok”. Sign!!!

    As I have watched this thing on fold, my heart has just broken. If only he could see the damage he has done. It is soooo much bigger tan just what going on between the sheets … it’s is effecting lives eterally. More importantly, if he could only see the doors he was opening, the lives he was changing, the impact he was having …. now suddenly, it has all changed with dramatically opposite results! It has made me look closely as my own life and ask God to reveal any area in my life where I may be compromising and having a ripple effect on my witness!!!

    I share that story, because I see a very similiar story unfolding here (I proceed carefully!!). I have really been convicted that we have lost the since that God as our FIRST PRIORITY and deserves our very best!!! . Oh we say he’s first, until something we want causes us to cross hairs with His instructions. Then suddenly, we justify our desires so we can feel good about our choices. But really we’re choosing the other over God. That began to hit home with me about 5 years ago. One of the state finals, a team, a Seventh Day Adventist Team, won and was scheduled to play for the State Championship on Saturday, their sabbath day. They were favored to win, but decided to forfeit the game instead. Why? To let the world know that God was their 1st place, His ways always first, even if it meant the championship. Wow! Could I do that? Our boys are huge footballs players, they too won state, so I know all too well what it feels like to be there in that moment and I can’t imagine laying that down to “honor the sabbath”. Surely there’s some leeway there right? Yet in some way, I was very proud of them. I applauded them in my heart, while I secretly was convicted. As God often does, he began to tug on my heart and I began to study the sabbath. It’s one fo the 10 commandments!!! Even though I knew that, somehow I had lost the significance that it’s right up there with don’t lie, steal, or covet, have no other God’s before me …. yet somehow this one has lost it’s impact? Why? As I studied, I was surprised that keeping the sabbath is a still BIG deal to God. So then began the questions, what about sports. What’s a Christian to do about sports. So many are played on Sunday and Saturday (depending on which day you declare as your Sabbath), As I began to talk to other moms, fellow sisters in Christ, I began to see how we have washed down the importance of this day and really, with out realizing it placed a greater value on sports! I began wonder …. what if all Christian’s did what the Seventh Day Adventist team did and said “no” to game on the Sabbath. I think the sports associations would begin to change the days the games are played. As I thought about that, I thought, how clever that Satan used something so innocent to keep families, who love God and love their kids …. the very core of our society … out of church!!! Genius! We have several friends who’s kids have gone on to play ball in college. My daughters best friend, won the Softball World Seriers last year and was the NCAA Freshman of the year. We are so incredibly proud of her, but do you know for the last 5 years she has only been to church once or twice on Sunday. Games and tournaments are always on Sundays so neither she, nor her family have been able to make it to church, because like you, they want to support her and are always at her games. But not just her, many, many others have similiar stories.

    So as I began to read your story, I was expecting a very different story. Because it is so obvious that your desire to love God put him first … hence, living out our priorities …. so I was anticipating “God first” over sports, yes, even your son! And the ripple effect that would have had, not just on your family but on all of those around you and on all of your readers!! As I read this, my heart sank! Like the story of my brother-in-law, I see the ripple effects of this message as 100’s of families read this and choose, to love their kids and as you put it do “what is good” … go watch their kids compete in sports, while neglecting going to Church as a family (often for weeks and even years). I can’t imagine all the missed sermons, missed messages that could have huge impact on the lives of these families, while they are out “doing good” but neglecting what is really best “honoring God, keeping his sabbath holy and going to Church”.

    So as you read this, I hope it will fall tenderly …. not harsh as I can sometimes seem! My desire is to “open your eyes” to a greater good … to ‘letting’ God be first in everything! To honor His Sabbath and keeping it holy. Honestly, there is no greater joy and every sacrifice is worth it.

    By they way, the league decided to let them play the game on another day and they WON!!!
    But they won so much more than a championship!!!

  5. Diana says:

    My apologies …. I edit before I had a chance to edit it. Hope you can read through all the blunders and hear the message!

    Warmest regards,
    Diana

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