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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Cause and Effect

Early in life we began to live with an eye for an eye mentality. This was first seen as we dealt with other children. When something was done to us, we responded in kind. Each instance caused an effect often resulting in arguments and altercations.

As adults this continues in our daily lives. From family, to work, in our hobbies and in our churches and clubs, there are situations that elicit a response from us which always affects those around us.

Newton’s third law of motion states,” for every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Since this is a physical law, it is inherent to each of us.

“Cause and effect” is how we see this law expressed. When force is exerted on us, we are always moved to apply force in return.

This is unfortunate because this may escalate the situation. Knowing this is crucial to understanding how, when and where we should be assertive and when we should back off. If we are not careful, we may exert more pressure than necessary which can cause an effect we never intended.

This may be one of the greatest dangers regarding “cause and effect” as the results of our actions can be the opposite of our intended goal.

The pendulum always swings too far is something my son once told me regarding the issues of life. There may be no more profound truth when it comes to “cause and effect”.

You see, we are always moved to act in the way we believe is justified and necessary. Often, those actions inflict pain resulting in hurt feelings and broken or damaged relationships.

These are the unintended consequences of “cause and effect”.

As we go forward, we should do so with Newton’ s third law of motion in mind. If not, we may be someone who applies too much force and does more harm than good.

At a minimum, we must acknowledge our reactions will inevitably be met by a response from someone else.

So, what can we do to ensure we do not cause an effect we never intended? We must start by understanding there will always be an equal and opposite reaction for every action we take.

There will always be a “cause and effect”. The question is, can we live with being the cause once we see the effect?

Luke 6:31, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”

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