Trails We Leave Behind

November 30, 2015

Philippians 2:3-5

[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Trails We Leave Behind

Do you remember the time in your life when maybe you became environmentally conscious?  You became aware that what you did impacted the environment around you.  You learned it was not a good thing to throw trash out of your car.  You learned that when you went hiking and camping, it wasn’t a good thing to leave your trash and garbage all over the countryside.  You became aware that how you treated the environment directly impacted how others could enjoy it as well as you.  Most of us have probably been disgusted when we have hiked to a beautiful spot for a picnic only to find that the previous picnickers had left bear cans, trash, or torn up the landscape, because they only thought about themselves and their enjoyment at the time.  They selfishly had no regard for those that would follow them.  This same principle holds true in the human landscape of our lives on a moral and spiritual plane.  Our wrong attitudes, selfishness, and lack of regard for others impacts the lives of those around us.  It follows then that golden rule of “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you”  should be applied to every aspect of our life.

If our goal, as we go through life, is endeavoring to treat all men equally with dignity and respect then we won’t leave behind us the hurt and wounded lives of those we have slandered, criticized, judged and condemned.  We will regard others as Christ has regarded us, with love, compassion and mercy.  Jesus had the intellect, wisdom, power and position that He could have just tore people up as he saw their heart and attitudes.  He could have justly judged and condemned all of those around Him, but He says in John 3:17, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”  Jesus is all about saving people.  He is about restoration, healing, comforting the broken hearted, caring about the orphan and the widow.  He is all about those things that produce spiritual life and blessing in others.  That is what we are to be about as well.  Life isn’t just about us and what always best suits our needs.  It is about others and how we might live to benefit them.  Sometimes I get upset because my expectations and wants aren’t met, but that is the selfish part of me that is not thinking in terms of what is best meeting the needs in someone else.  Often the needs of others constitute a sacrifice and an inconvenience on our part.  That is all part of how we live to create a clean and healthy environment with those around us.  Even the servant reaps the benefits of his service.  

Let us esteem others as better than ourselves and be mindful of not what just suits our needs, but what will bless and minister to others as well.   Make sure what you leave behind you is as good or better than what you found it. 

Happy Trails!


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