It’s true. There is a definite effect that follows even a single action.
Spiritually speaking, the enemy is out to make people fall. He will target a single individual with a seemingly innocent temptation, insomuch that the person is trapped before he realizes what is happening.
In James 1:14-15, we read, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
But the one who yields to temptation is not the only one hurt. We are to exhort one another to holy living and to be strong in the Lord. This is an obligation to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The writer of Hebrews tells us “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13 KJV).
Paul exhorts the Thessalon-ians (1 Thessalonians 4:1 KJV) “... by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” And he continues in Chapter 5:14, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.”
So whatever we allow ourselves, it affects those whose lives we touch. If Satan can make a child of God fall, he not only has victory over that person, but a domino effect is set up.
I remember a minister who had enjoyed the blessings of God in his evangelism efforts for years, but was overcome by a temptation. Instead of repenting and turning from the sin, he hid his actions and tried to keep on with his ministry and was still winning souls to Christ. Then one day, his failing came to light. People were astonished and confused. “How could he keep preaching the Gospel so fervently and have such success in his ministry?”
The question was posed to another minister and he gave this answer. “Looking to cause more people than the minister to fall, Satan didn’t try to hinder the good he was doing — so no attacks from the enemy. But Satan waited until the time came when the man’s revealed sin would cause more of a tragic effect on others” — hence, a domino effect.
We need to be careful of our witness. We can’t say, “I’m not hurting anyone.” Our behavior is an influence on everyone we know.
“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:16 KJV).