Is there anything more unsightly than garbage? My morning run is marred daily by litter.
I encounter fast food bags, shattered bottles, half-eaten food, broken eggs, cigarette butts, beer cans, and the list continues. In the road, on the shoulder, in the grass, in the median, some mornings it’s almost as if a garbage truck was rumbling through the neighborhood at breakneck speed with no regard for anyone, leaving a trail of debris behind.
Do you leave litter in your wake? Are your relationships enhanced or trashed after your involvement? Do you ever barrel through your day, recklessly, without considering how you are impacting those around you? If so, you are littering. Now, there is intentional and unintentional littering, but whether you intend to pollute your relationships or not, you are responsible. The fine for littering doesn’t only apply to those who purposefully threw rubbish in the road. Don’t soil your associations by disregarding your environment.
Here are 3 Ways To Avoid Leaving Litter in Your Wake.
1. Avoid Trash Talk. Trash talk is typically associated with sports. Athletes jab at one another with words to elicit bad performances. Sometimes, this antagonistic behavior becomes a part of every day life. The kind of trash talk I’m referring to is words that are hurtful, discouraging, and insulting. Innumerable casualties occur every day from the poison of the untamable tongue. Refrain from the rancor in words and thoughts that tears down. Build up and support those you encounter. From casual meetings at the grocery store to the most personal relationships, use worthy words filled with virtue and love, even when correction is necessary. “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Eph. 4:29
2. Clean Up Your Garbage. Life is filled with the debris of our decisions. Although we may strive to conduct ourselves in a noble manner, there will be times when we fail. Refuse will be spilled and we must choose how to react. We can ignore the pile of junk and pretend it doesn’t exist, we can deny culpability and lay blame at someone else’s feet, or we can admit our mistakes and strive to make them right. Don’t ever leave a mess for someone else to clean up. Hold yourself accountable for your decisions and repair the damage you have done, in person, with a contrite heart. “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matt. 5:23-24
3. Respect Your Environment. We all have to live in this world together. The more we respect our interpersonal environment, the better we will conduct ourselves. It’s imperative to realize your behavior effects those around you. It’s up to you whether that result will be positive or negative. Will your environment be beautiful to live in or filled with the rubbish of your actions? “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Phil. 4:8
Healthy relationship are beautiful. Keep them free of trash and they will remain unblemished for years to come.
How do you keep your environment clean?