How Your Choices Affect Others

Rebels in Adam, Redeemed in Christ

Today's culture teaches us that we are isolated individuals. Our choices are our own and we can live as we please so long as it does not cause harm to anyone else. But that is not the portrait offered by Scripture. Mark Mellinger sits down with Pastor Chris Brauns to discuss how we are all tied to one another in both the good and bad choices we make in life.

Mark Mellinger is the Indiana Public Affairs Director for Bott Radio Network and talk show host for 1090 Today, a radio program that showcases local ministries and encourages Christian living. Chris Brauns is Lead Pastor at The Red Brick Church in Stillman Valley, Illinois. 

Can you think of a time when you felt the effects of someone else's choices in your life? In what ways did they affect you, either positively or negatively? How has this caused you to think differently about the choices you make on a daily basis?
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As a way of illustrating how our decisions are not isolated, Chris brought up two examples. In Adam's rebellion, he pulled all of us with him. We come into this world in sin due to the actions of Adam, which have been imputed to us. In contrast, through faith in Christ, we are tied to Him in righteousness. The good news of Jesus is stronger than the bad news brought about through Adam.

How have you seen these two examples evidenced in your own life? What are some examples of how Adam's choice affects the desires of your heart? In what ways have you seen your faith in Christ free you from being tied to Adam? How is your life different as a result?
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Chris noted that there are two ways in which we can take this principle to an extreme: 1) Disregard it and continue believing our choices are isolated or 2) view ourselves as purely victims of the choices of others. As you consider your own perspective, which extreme would you say you drift towards more? Why? What needs to change about your view to reflect a more biblical understanding?
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In light of this discussion, how have your thoughts altered in regards to how your choices affect your family? Friends? Church? How will your approach to decision making change as a result?
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It may be comforting to believe that the effects of our choices are isolated to our lives alone, but it simply is not true. The decisions we make have ramifications for others whether or not we like it. While we cannot always see their impact, we must reject the idea of isolation. In addition, we must also reject the notion that we are who we are because of others. We are all a mixed bag, broken by sin and in need of a Savior. Tie your life to Christ. Let His Word govern your choices and allow Him to use the gospel in your life and those around you for generations to come. 

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