In my previous post I wrote about the first cause of pain in the world, which is our own sin. In this post, I want to addrress the second cause of pain in the world. While our own sin nature and our wrong choices are root causes for some pain and suﬀering in our lives, the second cause for pain in the world is the sin of others. Sin has a ripple eﬀect that causes pain to other people. Sadly, even when we trust Christ and He frees us from the grip of our sin, we are still subject to the poor choices others make who are still in slavery to their sin. As a result, we also experience pain when others make bad choices, and their consequences spill over into our lives. Sometimes the people hurt the most by sin have no direct connection to the individuals who actually commit the sin.
There are countless examples of the sin of others having huge impact on people with no direct connection to the sin. I still remember the horrifying pictures of Bhopal, India, on the news on December 3, 1984. I was a senior in high school at the time. Over a period of several days, nearly half a million people in Bhopal were exposed to the toxic gas Savin, which had leaked from a nearby pesticide plant. According to Earth Magazine, “Approximately 3,800 people died immediately. Thousands more died in the coming days. Those who survived recovered slowly or not at all.” What caused this terrible leak? Workers at the factory claim that the plant’s “owners were known for their lax safety standards.” Having low standards was a way to save money and increase proﬁts. The company denies this claim, but records indicate that “the safety systems that should have kicked in weren’t working properly.”
This was one of the worst industrial accidents in history. Whether it was caused by the sin of greed or by the sin of laziness, either way, the sins of a few caused unbelievable pain to many people who had no direct connection to the people who sinned.
Part of learning to deal with the pain of this world is accepting that the mistake of others often spill over into our lives. None of us like that reality, but we must accept it as reality nonetheless.
Adapted from Dr. Dorsett’s book, Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church, published by CrossBooks, a division of Lifeway Christian Resources.