We’re all concerned about the environment and the impact of our daily lives on future generations. We monitor how much we drive, the size house we own, how much electricity we use and a host of other significant activities.
We’ve even come up with a term to describe our personal—or communal—impact on the environment: carbon footprint.
Generally, our carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases produced to support our human activities. If you live in a 10,000 square foot house, drive gas-guzzling vehicles and give nary a glance at your electric bill, your carbon footprint will be high. And vice versa.
Most people have at least a general awareness of their carbon footprint and are concerned with ways to limit or reduce it.
While we care about our carbon footprint and its impact, we should care even more about our Jesus footprint: the influence and lasting impact we make on our world in the name of Jesus.
The Jesus footprint means that Christ-like love oozes from our attitudes and actions, making those we encounter eager to know more about Him. It also means that otherworldly love, grace and mercy are essential byproducts of how we live.
Here’s a brief synopsis of how our carbon footprint compares to our Jesus footprint:
Carbon footprint vs. Jesus footprint
Want to reduce Want to expand
Bad for the environment Good for the environment
Will negatively impact future generations Will positively impact future generations
Can be challenging to control Easy to invest in; the Holy Spirit controls
Can seem as if my role will have little impact What I do can change eternity
Paul gives a good description of an important component of the Jesus footprint in Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
As believers, we are encouraged to live in such a way that our actions and attitudes reflect Jesus. He literally changed the world. And each of us, in our own small yet eternal ways, can change the world as well.
How big is your Jesus footprint?