Inside Perspective - May 2014

My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I have coined a saying in the Greenhouse which states, "A good gardener never leaves a footprint." This saying sprang out of my habit of always using my leaf rake last, when doing my chores.

If you were to come and see our greenhouse garden, you would never know that anyone- namely me- has ever been there. Whether I am weeding, planting plugs, or doing any type of daily chore, these tasks all leave a plethora of footprints. But faithfully, the last thing I do is to remove my footprints with my leaf rake. Then, and only then, is my job really finished!

It is my firm conviction, that when a person gazes upon a bed of flowers, that “said footprints” would detract from its beauty. Even when my fellow workers are done with their chores, it is not long before I am found behind them with my leaf rake removing their footprints. Is this obsessive? Perhaps! Although, I prefer to think that this is diligent and conscientious.

Honestly, the fellas get a kick out of it and sometimes, in jest, they plant footprints (no pun intended) to get my goat! Then- as if that is not enough- they will wager on how long it will take me to notice and get out my leaf rake to remove them! Rascals, I tell you! But there are other much more serious “footprints” in our world. For instance, there is an on-going debate in the geopolitical world concerning what is termed the footprint of the United States. In this venue, the footprint they are speaking about is America's influence in other nations, militarily and otherwise.

So for example, what is our moral obligation to act, if any, should a foreign dictator begin killing his own people? To what degree should we intervene, if at all, and for how long? Should we leave a long-term "footprint" in other nations if it is to our national benefit? These are hard questions to be sure, and the opinions, as we know, are many and varied.

Some have the isolationist viewpoint, which espouses the idea that we should just take care of ourselves; unless of course, we as a nation are existentially threatened. They would choose to not even make a footprint in the first place. It is their opinion that we should not expend our military or our treasure (finances) except in self-defense. “Live and let live” is their mantra, and they go to sleep in peace repeating it.

On the other hand, there are people who assert an opposing view. They argue that words without action are moot, and so, they chose to act on their beliefs. “Peace through strength” was found to be wise, “trust but verify” was proven to be wiser. The belief is, that because of the great blessings we have received in America, it naturally follows that we have a clear moral obligation to help others. This leads to the desire that the United States should position itself as the world’s “policeman” to promote good on a global level. Still, others would call this Imperialism.

All perspectives have their strengths and weaknesses. And the beauty of our freedom in America is that we may align with them or not, as we see fit. Freedom is indeed wonderful, but in its train is a distinct moral responsibility, if not accountability. This is the natural outcome of the choices that we make.

It is written, "Preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2Tim. 4:2)

Beloved, it is our mandate to leave a “Christian footprint” in the lives of others. There are no coincidences! Everyone that is in our path, whether at work or play, is there by divine providence! Embrace the truth as such, and see your day as the missionary journey that it really is and leave a joyful footprint!

For instance, have you ever thought of your trip to the supermarket as a “missionary journey”, or are you perhaps an isolationist? Sadly, the Christian isolationist chooses to not even make a footprint. His freedom in Christ is wonderful, but he forgets that the Judgment Seat of Christ follows in its train!

Maybe the thought of a super-market missionary has never entered your mind? Perhaps you are too focused on the list of food that you need, thus missing the “spiritual food” that unbelievers are so in need of? Beloved, “live and let live” is the mantra of the lazy believer, and he repeats it to himself while people are going to hell all around him!

I am not saying that we need to be “imperialistic Christians” and make others listen to us. No, we do not need to leave a negative footprint on the necks of others. But I am persuaded that there is a perfect balance, and in our daily circumstances, God can create opportunities for us to witness.

As believers, we are so blessed of God! Therefore, what is our moral obligation to witness? To what degree should we intervene in the lives of others? Good questions, right?! We will do well to answer them according to the Book.

It is my prayer that we are not obsessive in the covering up of our “Christian footprint “ in fear of what others may think! Therefore beloved, I have coined a new saying...