An air-monitoring station atop a California mountain has detected wind-borne particles that drifted across the Pacific Ocean from coal-fired power plants and smelters thousands of miles away. Some experts predict that expanding economies in other nations could one day account for a third of the pollution in California. The US, however, remains the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and other countries are feeling the effects of America’s energy consumption.
An Associated Press report quoted atmospheric scientist Dan Jaffe: “There is no place where you can put away your pollution anymore.” Every nation shares the world’s atmosphere and is affected by the actions of others.
A similar principle is at work in the global community of those who follow Jesus Christ. We all have a stake in the lives of others because our actions, good and bad, affect every other Christian. In the body of Christ, each member belongs to all the others (Rom. 12:5). Because of that, we are urged to exercise our spiritual gifts (vv.6-8), and to be loving, faithful in prayer, and generous (vv.10-13).
Our obedience to the Lord may seem insignificant in the big picture, but it breathes freshness and life into the spiritual atmosphere of every believer.
We don’t live unto ourselves,
We’re part of one another;
For good or ill we touch a life
Of sister, friend, and brother. —D. De Haan
When believers influence each other for good, the body of Christ remains healthy.