Session 28

Your life has a ripple effect

From Genesis: A 7-Week Devotional


Genesis 36

We’ve all made foolish decisions. Sometimes we’re willing to admit that our decisions affect those around us, and other times we convince ourselves that we are the only ones changed by our decisions. If we were aware of the ripple effect of our decisions, would it change what we choose?

When Esau traded his birthright to his brother for a bowl of stew, there was probably a moment when he recognized his foolishness. But the impact of that one decision affected more than just Esau.  

We can never stray so far from God that He can't save us.

Genesis 36 is an account of Esau’s descendants—his wives, his children, his grandchildren. Every name mentioned is a life that was impacted by Esau’s one decision to trade his birthright. Everything from the name of their tribe, the Edomites, to where they settled can be traced back to Esau’s decision. Esau could never have known how many people would be affected by his choice that day.

Every day, we get to choose God’s way or our way. We can never stray so far from God that He can’t save us. But because God is just, He will allow us to feel the consequences of our decisions—even if it means our children and grandchildren will feel the effects as well.

There’s no way to know all the outcomes of our decisions or the ripple effect they will have on those around us. God knows and He wants desperately for us to walk in obedience so the ripple we make is full of faith.


  • Think of a time when you made a poor decision. What consequences did you experience?
  • How did that decision affect those around you?
  • How did that experience change the way you make decisions today?

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