We hear about the environment all the time on the news. We hear how pollution is hurting children in China, and how the rise in earth temperature is causing the artic icebergs to melt. Many Christians have jumped on board when it comes to helping the environment by making simple changes, such as using energy efficient lightbulbs. However with so many other issues going on in the world, it has not been a major focus of the church or its members.
It’s understandable why people put other causes in front of helping the environment. When we see someone hungry, we feel compelled to help them right then and can quickly see the benefits our action have on others. When it comes to the environment, we don’t get to see how our efforts positively impact the world immediately. We don’t get the warm and fuzzy feeling inside that we helped someone.
Some may argue that humans are more important than the rest of the creation, so we should focus our efforts on meeting the needs of people rather than addressing environmental issues. However, many of our environmental problems negatively impact people. If we fail to care for the environment in which we live, God′s people will suffer as a result. While we can choose to feed someone struggling in poverty one day, that doesn’t address the underlying problems the person is facing. Could they not have food because humanity has impacted their lands ability to grow food?
Others argue that protecting the environment is not as important as other jobs that God has given us, such as spreading the gospel. God is concerned with the physical world as much as He is the spiritual world, and the restoration of His creation is part of that. We should not neglect the task of sharing God’s Word with the world, but neither should we neglect our responsibility to take care of His planet. Caring for God′s creation is part of our service to God and an integral part of our role as servant leaders in God′s kingdom.
Regardless, the truth of the matter is that we as Christians have put off helping the environment for far too long.
Why should Christians be concerned about the environment? It isn’t because of the dangers we face with pollution, climate change or other environmental problem. While those are very important and serious problems, for Christians the issue is much deeper. We are disobeying God’s commands.
God clearly put humans in charge of this earth and we have a responsibility to His creation. Genesis 2:15 states “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” We understand that all created things belong to God, and that we are accountable to Him as stewards of His creations. The Bible says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1). The Lord appointed us to rule over His creations so that we could sustain, protect and enhance His works so that they could continue to serve out their purposes for God. Managing the environment isn’t just for us, but it’s also for God.
When we fail to see the world as God’s creation, we will end up abusing it. Selfishness and greed take over, and we end up not caring about the environment or the problems we’re creating for future generations. We continue to make the world a more dark, sinful place that is the complete opposite of how God wants us to live our lives.
There are simple changes we can start doing daily that show God that we are making an effort to care for our home. We can conserve energy by turning off lights when we are no longer in a room, or buy reusable bags for when we go grocery shopping. We can planet gardens at our local churches, or choose to drive energy efficient cars. There are millions of ways you can make your carbon footprint a little smaller.
Making these changes enhances our witness as others are able to see us put our faith into action. An unbeliever could see your concern for the environment, which gives you an opportunity to share with them how your care for God’s creation, our home planet, comes from the love He gave you. We show God we worship Him fully when we take glory and pride in the other creations He choose to make for us. God worked hard to create our home just for us, and it’s our responsibility to restore it to its proper glory.