Have you heard the phrase, “A small pebble can leave a big ripple”. \nI think that’s the saying. If not, you know what I mean. \nWell, it’s true.\nA teeny tiny pebble can cause ripples that continue to effect the tide long after it hits the water. Those little ripples can add to a monstrous wave which could possibly tip a canoe. Or change the direction a fish decides to swim downstream. \nOr sometimes, that ripple sifts through the water and stops when it reaches the bank and the pebble hits the bottom of the river, adding one to the stack of many, affecting no one or nothing in its course. \nWhat does this have to do with anything? Well, it kinda doesn’t. But I will tell you where my brain was going with it.\nDeciding to drink and drive.\nAn obvious action that can seriously affect the lives of others, as well as yourself. It’s selfish and stupid. There is just NO way around that. Sleep outside for a night, or find a couch somewhere. But seriously.\nHowever, what we don’t realize is that so many things we do and so many things we say affect the lives of those around us. Including the way we respond to others and the words we say out of frustration. All of it! Our actions and our words can encourage or discourage. They can build others up or completely tear them down. They can constructively build relationships or criticizingly destroy them. They can prepare the way for success or pave the road for consequences. \nThe craziest part abut this? You probably have NO idea when your actions or your words have affected someone, especially someone you don’t know.\nPerfect example of this is when I was recently walking around the mall and I saw an exchange going on between a mother and her child. He tore down a clothes rack, naturally, at being the age of no more than six. She grabbed him by one arm, slapped his face and cussed at him with a face of absolute disgust.\nPart of me wanted to attack her. I was allllll kinda rowled up inside. She was about six feet tall so we both know I was able to control my anger cause I didn’t want to embarrass her…\nAnyway, I thought about this event all day, and it still crosses my mind frequently. I pray that the little nameless boy knows he is worth more than anything his mama calls him out of frustration. But you see? It wasn’t just me who witnessed this event. Others were bothered, too. \nOnce again: our actions affect others. Our words affect others. Sometimes, they completely change the course of our day or the direction of our lives. Other times, they simply nudge us to pray for someone, like this did to me.\nWhat do you want to be known for? \nThrowing a pebble that ripples through the water, softly nudging others with words of encouragement and showing love to them through your actions?\nOr a stone that shatters the soul with harmful words without thought of how this ripple might affect them or actions that seek to be a wave tearing someone down, giving them no grace to get back up?\nWe all need the first. Our hearts were created to be pursued by Jesus and He is the most gentle soul we know. Be aware that what you do affects more than yourself and that those around you need to be loved. And so do you. \nSo, gather some pebbles. Toss them where the water is still and those around you need your words and can benefit from your actions. Put down the stones, those aren’t yours to throw And if you’ve thrown any recently, take the time today to apologize and create a new ripple. You will be so glad that you did.