Caring for God's Earth
What I’m about to say might sound a little strange. I use my travel mug as a small way to honor God. There are so many ways we can honor, worship and glorify God - stewardship of resources is one of those ways. Using a travel mug instead of wasting plastic cups and lids is one way to steward resources.
We typically think of stewardship as handling money, time or skills for God. However, we should consider the Earth and its resources as something that should be stewarded. We need to care for Earth – for creation – because it is biblical. Conversations about the environment can be polarizing and political, but I believe this topic can be covered and explained in a biblical perspective.
We should care for the Earth because it belongs to God.
The first two chapters of the Bible describe how God creates the Earth and saw that it was good. He made the Earth and He later made Adam and Eve. His Creation belongs to Him:
“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1, English Standard Version)
The Earth and its resources do not belong to us, but to God. Therefore, we should use them carefully and honorably, considering how our decisions and choices will impact the future.
We should care for the Earth because God commands us to.
God placed Adam over the land and animals after Adam was created. God gave Adam dominion over the animals and the land in Genesis 1:26 and a level of responsibility. The responsibility is made even clearer in the next chapter. Genesis 2:15 says,
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15, ESV)
‘Work’ and ‘keep’ in this verse relate to tending to the garden, but it is interesting to add that the same two verbs are used later to describe the priests’ and Levites’ work in the tabernacle. Within that context in Numbers, the words relate to ‘minister’ and ‘guard.’ This combination of word meanings make it clear that caring for the Earth is an important and holy task set before us – even before sin entered the world.
We should care for the Earth as a form of spiritual discipline and worship.
Caring for the Earth is largely about being stewards of the resources. Merriam-Webster defines stewardship as “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.” As mentioned earlier, we are commanded to tend to the Earth.
Here are some ideas to get started in consciously stewarding the Earth:
· Use reusable bags at the grocery store
· Use cloth towels instead of paper towels
· Clean up litter when you see it
· Conserve water by taking a quick shower
· Unplug – turn off electrics and go enjoy time outside
· Eat less meat – livestock requires a lot of water and food resources, so cutting back on meat conserves those resources even more
· Travel by bike or share a carpool
· Recycle bottles and cans
Caring for the environment through different choices we make provide the opportunity to glorify and honor God and be responsible with the resources that God has given us. So let’s use our resources wisely and continue to do the work God has set before us.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
© 2018 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated