Actions Generate Reactions

By Glen Young


I heard a story recently about a student named Donald MacDonald from the Isle of Skye (in Scotland). He was admitted into the prestigious Oxford University and given living accommodations in the hall of residence for his first year. His clan was very excited that one of their own had made it into the upper class of education. They were, however, concerned as to how he would do in “that strange land.” When the first month had past, his mother went for a visit.

“And how do you find the English students, Donald?” she asked.

“Mother,” he replied in his thick brogue. “They’re such terrible, noisy people. The one on that side bangs his head against the wall and won’t stop. The one on the other side screams and screams and screams, till all hours into the night.”

“Oh Donald! How do you manage to put up with these awful, noisy English neighbors?”

“Mother dear, I do nothing. I just sit here and ignore them while I quietly play my bagpipes.”

In High School science class, we were taught that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. A lesson we found easily learned because we see it demonstrated every day. Did you know that the Bible teaches the same regarding our spiritual lives? It is called “reaping what you sow!” (Galatians 6:7-8)

Jesus spoke to certain ones by saying, “And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he sent, him ye believe not.” John 5:38. They did not believe the one whom the Father had sent. This is the action. The reaction is stated thusly, “and ye will not come to me, that ye may have life.” John 5:40. Their failure to believe resulted in their rejection of Jesus as the Christ. Today, the refusal to believe the teachings of Christ and His holy prophets of the first century results in a life of ungodliness and sin.

Long ago, the writer of Proverbs said, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly…” Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV). The principle holds true throughout the generations. Those who act in a friendly manner will receive, in like manner, the reaction of friendship. It is when a person acts in an unfriendly way that their life is lonely and without friends.

I have given two illustrations that relate directly to our relationship with Christ and our relationship with one another. These are important because the influence of our society has created a backwash of immature people who persist in blaming others for their problems in life. Saddest of all is that many of these people are within fellowships of local churches of Christ.

The next time you are depressed feeling friendless and alone, ask yourself if you have shown friendship to others. Be honest with yourself and put the blame where it belongs.

What can I say about the judgment of your soul before God in that great day? Alas, it will be your fault and no one else should you be lost!