Tomorrow, April 22nd, is Earth Day. From the first “earth day” celebration in 1970 environmental concerns have gained national attention and the movement has gained momentum. More and more companies are environmentally conscious. The “Go Green” slogan is familiar to us.
Why should I care about environmental issues? Soil conservation? Pollution? Recycling? Or the current concerns over “global warming”?
Here are 5 Biblical stewardship principles that provide some direction, not only on this issue, but others relating to our lives on planet earth.
(1) God owns everything!
I believe “In the beginning, God created the earth” (Gen. 1:1). King David exclaimed, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it” (Ps. 24:1). The Psalmist proclaimed that the “Mighty One, God, the Lord has spoken…For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills” (Ps 50:1, 10)
God is the creator of the earth. The Provider. The Sustainer. The Owner. It’s His. Not mine!
(2) I am the Manager.
The Bible teaches the principle of Stewardship in all aspects of our lives. Jesus’ parables often used the analogy of a landowner entrusting his servants to take care of his estate. (Matt 25:14-30; Lk. 16:1-13).
We are to be good stewards of our time, talents and treasure. Even our very bodies belong to God (1 Cor 6:18-20). If we approach everything on this earth from the viewpoint it’s all on loan from God, it will impact how we use His blessings.
(3) Stewardship involves a trust. Requires faithfulness. Demands accountability. (1 Cor 4:1)
It’s apparent God uses the illustration of stewardship to address our spiritual responsibilities. Yet, if the analogy is accurate, then the physical comparison must be correct!
Environmental issues are not just a concern of the left. Or liberals. Or “tree huggers.” The principle of stewardship implies a proper use of resources. Lack of abuse. Being frugal. Thrifty. Wise.
My parents taught me not be wasteful. To respect property. Not to litter. To take care of my things. While I may not find a specific Bible verse for those life lessons, they are a part of responsible stewardship.
I remember my Uncle Raymond, a life-long farmer, talking about soil conservation. Protecting the land. Rotating his crops. Being productive with the natural resources God gave him. This is good stewardship.
(4) I honor the Owner, not the things owned!
While practicing good stewardship, I must remember the source of my blessings. The glory is directed to God! Not a tree! Or a tortoise! Or a toad!
Psalm 148 metaphorically depicts the earth and the cosmos praising the Creator. The sun. The moon. The stars. The fish of the sea. The beasts of the field. The birds of the air. They all praise God. And exalt His holy name.
There was a sad time in history when people worshiped and served creation instead of the Creator (Rom. 1:18-25). The apostle Paul said this misplaced adulation led to sinful pride, ungodly attitudes, immoral actions and perverted, unnatural behavior.
(5) The earth will end, but Heaven is eternal!
As my Mom used to say, ” We’re not put here on this earth to live forever!” It’s temporal. Temporary. And one day will terminate in destruction. I believe in global warming! The Bible says at the end of time the earth will be burned up and the elements melt with fervent heat! (2 Pet. 3:10-11) In the meantime, I will delight in today on planet earth. I will be warmed by its sunshine. Be thankful for the nurturing rain. Eat of its fruit. Be filled with its grain. Enjoy its nourishing vegetables. And yes, even enjoy the animals that God made for both food and for clothing.
Enjoy the earth everyone! It’s good. It’s God blessing to you!
Ken Weliever, The Preacherman