Headline: Lebanese government quits following Beirut port explosion.
Without question what happened in Beirut is a great human tragedy. Lives were lost; homes destroyed; families plunged into grief and days of uncertainty; 300,000 were left homeless. In an instant a nation has been placed on the verge of total collapse.
Actions and Consequences go together. In fact it seems to be an unwritten law of the universe that Actions always produce Consequences.
We see it all of the time, but it seems to have become more pronounced in recent days. Hollywood moguls have fallen. Cities have been plunged into chaos. Politicians have lost their careers. All because of the consequences produced by actions.
In the case of Beirut, 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive material had been inadequately stored for the past seven years at the Beirut port (action). Between 2014 and 2017 six letters were sent to the Beirut Urgent Matters Judge by customs officials but nothing was done (action). On August 4th the unimaginable happened and a major part of the city was destroyed in an instant (consequences).
The pictures showing piles of twisted metal and destroyed buildings are all over the internet. The shock was felt on the Island of Cyprus, 150 miles away. Pray for the people of Beirut.
I bring this up because we normally think of our own actions producing consequences that affect only us. So, we reason, I can do whatever I want to do because I’m not hurting anyone else.
But that is never the case. The Apostle Paul wrote, None of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself (Romans 14:7). In the context he was telling Christians that they live or die for the Lord, but his statement is general, the application is specific. All men, whether Christian or not affect the lives of other people by their actions.
And we are at least partially responsible for how our actions play out in the lives of other people. That can be a good thing or a not-so-good thing.
The writer of Hebrews addressed the not-so-good side when he wrote; Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and defiling many (Hebrews 12:15). Your bitterness has the potential to defile many other people. But so does your kindness.
And that’s the issue that is so often overlooked. While bad actions produce bad consequences, so good actions produce good consequences.
Love produces love. Kindness produces kindness. Mercy produces mercy.
The power to bring about good lies with us as does the power to bring about evil.
Yes, There are Consequences but they don’t have to be of the not-so-good variety. Choose to make them of the good variety. Better yet, choose to make them of the godly variety.
Stay in the Word,