Are you feeling brave?  Christian Aid have a Carbon Footprint calculator on their web site, do have a go. I have belatedly had a look at how bad my lifestyle is through this tool and it has prompted me to live out some changes. Self-examination is always a courageous path that we normally avoid. None of us want to be told off, especially by a web site! Blaming others is an easier path. For example, someone is always driving a bigger car than ours, or we see political obfuscation and know developing countries often have low environmental standards. However always expecting others to act first would mean no one ever changes anything. 

Auditing our life style can extend beyond our Carbon Footprint. The question: “Am I living out the values and beliefs I assent too,” is a telling thought. Do I live out love; am I making the world a better sweeter place; do I tell people I appreciate them and compliment them on their kind ways? The scriptures can help this process. Reading through Paul’s masterpiece on love in 1 Corinthians 13 is a perfect place to start, or examining Jesus’ sermon on the mount in Matthew 5-7. These passages demand the same bravery as  looking at your Carbon Footprint.

Jesus declared God is love, holding up this as the highest form of human living. Love motivates a concern for others and a willingness to change ourselves. Christians believe that the God who directs and encourages us to love knows  we will fail at times and disappoint ourselves. But God embraces us like the returning Prodigal Son in Luke 15 and we begin again rather than letting past failure determine our future actions. 

Revd Jack Walker
Minister, Newport Pagnell Baptist Church

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