August 7, 2023

The Ripple Effect of Bad Decisions

“Men, you ought to have followed my advice and not to have set sail from Crete” Acts 27:21


We often find ourselves in a storm because someone else made a bad decision. That’s because every choice has a ripple effect. It can be especially frustrating when your advice and warnings are ignored. But how we, as believers, handle these situations also has a ripple effect. We see this play out in the life of Paul, who found himself in a storm at sea. He shows us how God can work in any situation, even when it’s the result of a bad decision.


Paul was on his way to Rome, but this time he was traveling as a prisoner. As such, he was at the mercy of the decisions made by the Roman guard. Paul warned against putting out to sea at such a dangerous time but they didn’t listen (Acts 27:9-11). Consequently, he and everyone on the ship suffered through a devastating storm.


The storms we face may not be literal but they can be just as devastating. Business owners who make poor decisions impact the financial well-being of their employees. A spouse might be unfaithful, or just decide to quit the marriage, creating hardship on the whole family. Many children suffer because their parents make poor life decisions. And an entire nation suffers when there’s bad leadership.


Paul’s version of, “I told you so” was short-lived, and he immediately began to encourage his shipmates with God’s promise (v22-24). While the majority believed they’d be lost at sea, Paul knew he had a divine appointment with Caesar that no storm could prevent. He displayed confidence in God both outwardly and inwardly. And as always, he took the opportunity to point others to the Lord, Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told” (v25).


Are you suffering the ripple effect of someone else’s bad decision? How you handle the fallout can be a blessing to others who are defeated and discouraged. You see, there are three types of people in a crisis: those who are afraid, those who don’t know enough to be afraid, and those who know God and His Word. So, get into the Bible. Trust God. Don’t panic—that only leads to more foolish decisions. Remember, God’s sovereignty can draw straight lines with crooked sticks!