A Message from Pastor Craig: 2-19-2023

Yesterday at lunch time I rode with a friend who had a plastic bag full of plastic bags that he was taking back to Publix for recycling.  I commended him for that, but had to tell him that we don’t recycle our plastic bags.  Not because we don’t believe in recycling, but because we use our bags.  All of them.  You see, we have a dog.  And we walk our dog.

Have you ever seen a dog owner with a leash in one hand, and a bag in the other hand?  Well, that’s us.  Our dog never finishes the walk with the need for the bag, he waits till we are just far enough from the house at the beginning of the walk to where we don’t want to walk back and put the bag in the garbage. Then, and right then, right after the point of no return, he goes.  And we suffer the humiliation of walking that bag around the rest of the neighborhood.  We walk late at night.

I don’t know what the most humiliating part of this is: standing there waiting for your dog as you wave at people going by, or bending over to clean up after the dog as a sudden parade of cars go by, or standing there greeting a neighbor whilst holding the knotted up bag.  The things our dogs train us to do!

I was going to share this illustration last Sunday, but I chickened out.  I had been thinking about the fact that I have never gotten specific instructions from God like Saul did, but that I do feel we have been given all kinds of instructions in the Bible.  And God wants us to diligently follow those instructions.  Oh, God gave us the big 10 – the 10 Commandments.  But He also has told us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31), to be law abiding citizens (Romans 13:1), to put others before ourselves (Philippians 2:3).  And to clean up after our dogs.

Well, not that one exactly.  But when we apply a verse like Romans 12:10 which says that we should honor others above ourselves, we find that we should pick up after our dogs.  Why?  Because of the effect we can see when other people don’t.  When they don’t pick up after themselves, other people start putting indecorous signs in their yards, complaining about it.  And suddenly we are offending each other, including the people that do do the right thing (no pun intended).  If everyone picked up after their dogs, not only would yards be clean, but those signs wouldn’t be out on people’s yards, and the neighborhood would be better for it.  I’m sure you have some stories you could tell about this sort of thing.

Anyway, the point is, God wants us to apply the instructions that we already know.  It’s not just for our spiritual health, and a good walk with the Lord, but is also for the greater good – our behaviors affect the whole neighborhood, as my plastic bag story illustrates.  The Apostle Paul put it this way: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Let us not stop doing good!

Back from the walk,


Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31