Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
— James 3:5
In a small village in Borneo, well-intentioned health workers once sprayed the straw huts with the now-illegal substance, DDT. The purpose of the spraying was to control the mosquito population, thereby reducing cases of life-threatening malaria among the tribe. Little did they realize the unintended consequences they’d incur.
The spray didn’t kill just the mosquitos. It also killed the lizards that normally inhabited the thatch walls of the huts. The village cats then ate the lizards and died also. That resulted in an unrestrained influx of rats into the village.
Not only that, but the lizards’ demise left the population of straw-consuming caterpillars free to reproduce. They eventually gobbled up the straw roofs of the huts.
Almost every action has unintended consequences. Sometimes they’re harmless; other times they aren’t. But it’s important, as believer in Christ, for us to think through the consequences of our actions.
For example, before we repeat something we heard about someone else, it’s important to stop and think about how it may impact that person. It might cause us to think twice before speaking!
Be mindful of the consequences of your actions and make wise choices to do what’s right!
Pray that God would keep you mindful of the consequences your actions have.
Questions for Thought
Think of a time when you did something that caused unintended negative consequences. What happened?
How might looking ahead thoughtfully keep a situation like that from happening again?