The Fabric of Human Relationships
"A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother." Proverbs 10:1
A teenaged boy sits on his bed brooding. His father has just warned him that he's about to make a foolish choice in his life. But the boy doesn't want to hear it. So in his head he argues like this: "Maybe it is a foolish thing to do. But what does he care, anyway? It's my life, not his!"
Ah, it would be easier to go ahead and act foolishly that way, wouldn't it? If in doing so you thought you hurt no one but yourself? You'd be a bonehead, perhaps, but not a bad person. Unwise, but not unloving.
But that's not how life works, is it? God has so ordered things that we're all part of a fabric of human relationships. Our lives are interwoven. Everything that I am and do affects others; and those who are most affected by my choices in life are those whom I say that I most love. And that's why a foolish son is not just a grief to himself, but to his parents, too.
There are no sins so isolated that they only hurt the one sinning. Even secret sins eat away at a man's soul. Do you think his wife and children do not feel the effects of that? Do you think the members of his church do not suffer for the loss of the better man he might have been?
So here is wisdom: Do not be like that brooding boy on his bed. Do not make it easier for yourself to yield to sin by telling yourself what is a lie. Of course your foolish choices affect others. There's no escaping the fabric of human relationships. And that's why it is such a selfish thing to knowingly be a fool. In doing so you grieve those who care about you most when you might have made their hearts glad.