John Donne, English poet, wrote that “No man is an island entire of itself.” The point being that we all are a part of one another and our actions impact others. How true! The things I do affects others today and well into the future. I am not isolated. I am not alone.
What likely seemed an isolated decision by Eve to take of the forbidden fruit was not isolated at all. Her single action, in a moment of time, had horrid consequences for all humanity. Every person born and all who will be born, are directly impacted by her sin. Her choice unleashed the influence of sin into the world such that Paul could declare that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23). Indeed, no man is an island.
In the Old Testament, Achan thought he could secretly take the spoil of Israel’s defeated enemy. Surely no one would know, he reasoned. No one did know except God. Soon afterwards the Israelite army assaulted the small city of Ai. Israel was beaten back ad lost about 36 warriors. Why? Because of Achan’s supposedly secret sin (Joshua 7:1-26). No man is an island.
Today, someone will be found guilty of a crime and sentenced to jail. They lose their job and suddenly their family, including children, are without support. The children are without guilt but still suffer the consequences of the adult’s action. No man is an island.
This lesson ought be driven home to every parent. Our conduct today will impact our children and grandchildren for generations to come. Children watch their parents. They learn to become adults by modeling our behaviors.
This principle can work to our benefit too. Good conduct and a godly life will also impact those around us. That seems to be the root of Jesus’ admonition to be “the salt of the earth” and to be “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-15). We do not live in seclusion. Our lives, when lived by God’s direction, benefits others.
Abraham was an aged, nomadic man. Yet his faith remains legendary and gave rise to an entire race of people through whom the Redeemer came. His life and faith influences people even today. No man is an island!
The best example is Jesus Christ. His short life and brief three year public ministry would suggest that he would have little impact upon the world stage. Such a suggestion would be a mistake. No one has ever had the influence upon the world of Jesus the Son of God. No man is an island.
View yourself as person of influence. See your own life as a ministry. Someone, years from now will be impacted by your life today. Will it be for good or ill? That decision is in your hands..