“I am thinking I want the children to release balloons at my wedding,” she said. “Except it makes me sad.”
I questioned why. I was told because they fly away, never to return. Never to return. And when she said that, as the words were coming out of her mouth, I understood something.
Maybe it was the message our pastor preached, about standing fast. Keeping guard. Not falling asleep at our post…..“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” l Corinthians 16:13
When you let go of a balloon, even for a fraction of a second, it is gone. When we let our guard down, say something rude, act in a manner which we shouldn’t — we have sinned, never to undo it.
Just as the balloon floats away, our actions and our words go out. We can’t undo or un-say anything. It is gone — forever.
Just as those around you can look up and see the balloon growing smaller as it goes farther away, so can those around you look at you for an example. Your words and your actions have a far reaching effect, as the ripples from a pebble tossed in the water do.
If we let our guard down on our tongues for even just a moment, we might just regret the words that we say — even as they are coming out of our mouths. We can’t take them back. They will be engraved in the hearts and minds of whoever heard them, for as long as they live. They will have consequences. They will harm people, or build others up.
If we let the guard down on our actions — on our lives — we will act in ways we never meant to. Maybe we won’t even notice — but others will. We — our lives — might be the cause of leading others astray. Giving those around us “permission” to act in a certain way. Do certain things.
How humbling is that thought? That I am responsible for the effects of how I live my life. I have a responsibility before God — and woe be it unto me if I cause a little one to stumble! It has consequences! “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” Luke 17:2. I am my brothers keeper. And how often do I think of my actions in this way? Not that I want to live a life of pleasing men, but rather a life of following Christ. And if I strive, with my Saviours help, to live a life pleasing to Him — giving up my desires for His, my thoughts for His, my ways for His — then I am living a life worthy for Him. The problem is, I often don’t think. All too often the way I act gives those around me a negative message.
Just as a balloon that is journeying away can bring joy to a child’s heart when it is spotted, so can our lives when guarded by our Saviour’s love. Our lives have a rippling effect — will it be a ripple of joy, or one of sorrow?