Genesis 1:31 – Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!
We all know how huge of a political issue global warming is these days. One side strongly warns that human lifestyles are on the verge of pushing the Earth towards irreversible destruction, causing glaciers to melt and contributing to a rise in weather catastrophes around the world, among other things. The other side decries global warming as a myth meant to scare people and generate favorable votes. These opinions together make human environmental impact one of the many polarizing topics in our world today.
In Christian circles, matters of the environment seem to not get as much attention as, say, evangelism and missionary work. Recycling, conservation and similar ideas tend to be associated with the New Age Movement and “flower children” types, making taking care of the earth somewhat taboo for Christians.
Another reason that the environment is not as much of a focus for Christians is because of the focus on the imminent return of Christ. The bible urges us to remain vigilant for the surprise return of Jesus for His people, and it also talks about the importance of focusing on heavenly matters versus matters pertaining to this world. The environment is an ‘earthly’ matter,right?
However, taking care of the environment is definitely of great importance to God. Here is why I can state that confidently:
1. God liked what He made. Going back to the scripture quote from the beginning of the article, God as creator of the heavens and the earth finished with His creating, and then took a break to check it out. Guess what? He saw that it was very good, meaning that He was happy with what He did. What artist do you know of who would be perfectly fine with another person taking what he had painstakingly produced and destroying it? Especially work that he was proud of? Nope, I do not know of any such artist either.
2. God wants you to be a good steward. Psalm 24:1 – The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. Absolutely everything is God’s. Everything. We do not even own ourselves. Therefore, anything that we have (our bodies, families, possessions, time, talents, etc) was loaned to us for a time. And do not forget that God expects a return for what he has invested in us (Matthew 25:14-30).
3. God already designed this world for conservation. If you eat a banana and throw the peel onto the ground, guess what happens? The banana peel is broken down and returned to the soil to nourish future life. When we breathe out carbon dioxide, we provide it for plant life to inhale, and they in turn provide us with more oxygen. A cow strolls across a pasture eating grass, converts the grass to manure, and that manure helps to produce even more healthy grass. See God’s design? Yet, we as humans consume large amounts of natural resources and unfortunately convert them into forms which cannot be recycled in nature (i.e. plastics, Styrofoam). We should work with creation instead of working against it.
Let us more fully pursue lives that consider our usage of environmental resources. Yes, this world is temporal and will pass away one day, but until then, God wants to see if He can trust us with what He has given us now. He wants to see if we care about the things that He cares about. Let us consider the following possible actions moving forward:
- Making a simple compost pile in your back yard where vegetable and fruit scraps can be thrown instead of with other trash to a landfill somewhere. The dirt can later be used for a flower or vegetable garden.
- Lessening your consumption in general. Buy only out of necessity to lessen the trash produced in the first place.
- Saving energy by turning the thermostat off while not at home, or by at least not having to have it as cold in the summer or as warm in the winter. The 68 in winter/78 in summer guideline is popular.
- Buying a water filter pitcher and a reusable water bottle to reduce the amount of plastic bottles you use and throw away.
- Considering not using the car for a trip that is just up the street.