"For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." (Romans 5:19)
I don't think we fully understand the depth of this verse. What we do affects others. EVERYONE around us is going to be affected in some way - be it big or small - by the choices we make.
Let's take a look at a few people in detail, shall we?.... Ohhhh, we shall...!
Adam. The first man ever created. Eve. First woman created from the rib of Adam. God said (and I'm paraphrasing): "You can eat of any tree... ANY tree... in this garden, EXCEPT THAT one." Adam and Eve didn't ask Him why... and God didn't give them any reasons.
(just as a side note (because I know you love my little rabbit trails).... God doesn't have to give you the reason for anything in your life. He's God. He can do what He wants... without your approval. There's nothing wrong with asking God "why?"... So long as you know that you're the one that's wrong, and He's always right, everything will be ok.) Getting back on track now.... Adam and Eve were in the garden - everything was going great... and then Satan showed up [isn't that how it always goes?! Everything's fine and dandy, then here comes the snake... just in time to ruin everything....]. Had Eve obeyed God, and not bought into a lie that tree would've never been touched that day, that piece of fruit would've never been eaten, that garden would have still had two more inhabitants. But we all know that's not how the story goes....
Because they sinned... we have a sinful nature (*Gee, thanks Grandpa Adam.... *pfft*).
David. A man after God's own heart. He penned the beautiful book of Psalms. He "encouraged himself in the Lord" (I Samuel 1:30). But we all know he wasn't perfect. He committed adultery, and because of that sin He had a man murdered - left out on the battlefield to defend his nation alone. And then the baby he had concieved with Bathsheba died in infancy. Because of his sinful, lustful behavior, just look how Solomon turned out: 700 wives and 300 concubines later, the Bible says he loved many strange women, and his wives turned his heart away! THIS is the guy who asked God for wisdom, above riches and kingdoms! And then there was Absalom - he tried to usurp his father's thrown, and ended getting his hair stuck in a tree and he hanged to death. And we can't forget Amnon - and he "had a friend whose name was Jonadab... and Jonadab was a very subtil man." *winner.... NOT!* That "friend" (which was also his cousin) helped lustful, wicked Amnon rape his half-sister Tamar! Do we see a trend here...?! Hello!! It all starts with one man. One sin. "What parents do in moderation, the children do in excess" (that's what my parents always told me).
Paul. Once called Saul. Once persecuted Christians. Was knocked off his high horse (literally) and was blinded by the Light of the World. Blinded. Forgiven. Redeemed. Transformed. Changed. He was one of the greatest apostles in the world, and he claimed himself to be the "chief of sinners" (I Timothy 1:15). What a humble man. He endured more than we could ever imagine: persecution, imprisonment, beatings, mockeries, shipwreck, exile, etc and etc. WOW! Kinda makes your "problems" seem rather small, huh? I know it does for me. Many lives were changed because of the great ministry Paul had for the Lord.
Jesus. Oh, how sweet the Name! Born as a baby, Almighty God "made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Oh, but wait...! There's more: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phillipians 7-11). Jesus Christ took my place, your place, the world's place - and died in our stead. He hung on my cross. He paid my debt I could not pay. He bridged the gap for me!
By one, many....
"No man is and island, entire of itself."
..................................................................~ John Donne