One of my mentors, Darren Daily, recently released a book called The Compound Effect. This is a very simple principle which has significant impacts on our lives. Every habit and choice we make (no matter how small) has a compounding effect. We often overlook the subtle decisions and mannerisms we have but their effects over time significantly shape who we are and who we desire to be. This is also a biblical concept best captured in the principle of sowing and reaping.
As Darren points out, Tony Gwynn was arguably one of the best pure hitters in the game of baseball. He hit over 300 for 19 straight seasons! The players with the second most consecutive seasons only managed to string together 4 consecutive seasons. Tony was inducted into the baseball hall of fame on the first ballot and spent 19 seasons in the Major Leagues. After the MLB, he became a successful college coach at San Diego State University winning three conference titles and making it three times to the College World Series. Through it all, Gwynn had a habit of chewing tobacco. This habit never effected his ability to play or coach the game and certainly was not a barrier to his success. However, it did lead to the cancer which started in his lip and spread throughout his body taking his life at the age of 54.
It was the compound effect of the tobacco which over time resulted in Gwynn's passing at an early age. While he could not see the effects of this decision daily, over time the tobacco led to the cancer which spread through his body. What habits do you have which over time will lead to destruction in your life. Do you listen to music which degrades women, do you watch pornography, do you eat unhealthy, etc. The list is endless and while a single day or incident will not effect your life today the compound effect will lead to these habits wrecking your family, relationships, marriages and health.
In Galatians 6:7, His Word states, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap." This principle is irrevocable; there is no escape, either for the believer or for the unbeliever. It is a law of life. God lets us know he will not be "mocked" and our pride will be our downfall if we think the bad choices and poor habits we chose today will not come back to haunt us in the future.However, the fact that we reap what we sow is good news for those who sow good habits!
Some are deceived because what they are sowing does not appear to be producing an immediate crop. So they continue down their course, mistakenly believing that there will never be a harvest. But unlike the crops of the field, which get harvested at the same time each year, there is no regular timetable for the harvest of life. Some crops we reap quickly; others take a long time. But do not be deceived—their season will come. And by paying attention to the habits we form today and giving more than is required, we will reap rich dividends later.