This is a post I wrote for my other private blog, but decided I wanted to share it here too. The intention of this blog is to help people achieve physical, mental and spiritual health and the title of it is based on scripture (1 Corinthians 6:19). If you're a follower of this blog, you obviously care about your health and try to take good care of your body. But the way we take care of the earth directly impacts our health. That is why I wanted to share this with you.
I want to speak to the Christians out there - everyone who claims they are a follower of Jesus Christ and lives according to the Gospel. I want to talk to you about the environment.
There are several camps of Christians when it comes to this topic. Some think environmentalist is for the Hippies, and since we have moral differences with their movement, we dismiss the information they are giving us. We call the green movement “liberal, Hippy stuff” and feel like there is no place for it in our religious lives.
Other Christians think the destruction of the earth is imminent and since God is in control, nothing we do matters. By that same thinking, if we were diagnosed with a terminal illness and knew our death was imminent, would we just wildly abuse our bodies? I would hope that we wouldn’t, because our quality of life here on earth and in eternity depends on the way we choose to respect our bodies and God’s word.
How is the earth any different? Just as He gave us our bodies as a gift - as a temple that should be kept holy and clean - He gave us this earth as a gift. In Genesis 1:28 it says, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
And what instructions does God give those who rule over other living things? In Proverbs 8:15 we are told that rulers should be wise and just. Since you and I are responsible to taking care of this earth, we had better be making wise decisions. That is what God has asked us to do.
God gave us this earth as a gift to enjoy while we are here in this life, but He still owns it. Psalm 24 tells us that the earth is the Lord’s and we are just borrowing it. Who would ever want to intentionally disrespect something that belongs to God, which He gave us to cherish? We don’t do it to the other gifts He has given us – our children, our spouses, etc.
Right now there is a patch of garbage in the Pacific Ocean the size of the state of Texas. Our water supply is full of toxins like mercury and rocket fuel. We dump toxic waste into the oceans and eat contaminated fish. We treat animals with zero respect, like they are inanimate objects designed to make us profit and feed us as cheaply as possible. And as if it isn’t bad enough that we are destroying our own earth and everything that lives on it, we are now polluting the heavens with space trash. There are no limits to our filth.
I met my breaking point yesterday. I broke down after seeing the pictures of the Gulf Coast from the recent oil spill and hearing the reactions in the media. I could not control the tears and the pain. I cried out to God to forgive me for the role I have played in this.
Everyone wants to pass the buck and play the victim. The Democrats blame the Republicans, the Republicans blame the Democrats, the people blame the government, government blames big business, and big business blames a few workers…
STOP IT. STOP ACTING LIKE FOOLS. GROW UP AND TAKE SOME ACCOUNTABLITY FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE CHOICES.
WE are the problem. You and I and every single one of us who continues this lifestyle of waste and excess is the problem. Every time we consume this unnecessary pop culture trash that society tells us we need, we contribute to it, because the manufacture, packaging, distribution, marketing, sale and disposal of every single good we buy uses up fossil fuels, pollutes everything around us and eventually clutters our landfills. Every unnecessary shopping spree that serves no other purpose than to fill an empty void in our lives that we should instead fill with Jesus contributes to the problem. Every time our gluttony causes us to indulge in foods we don’t need, we are contributing to the problem. Every time we decide that our comfort is more important than preserving the gift God has given us, we sin. And God will make us accountable for this one day. We must repent and change our ways.
These things that make us so modern, like all of the technology, and the things that entertain us – we tend to only think of the moral implications, like the amount of time wasted doing them when we could be serving the Lord, or the way they allow sin to fill our minds and hearts, but there are also environmental impacts that are just as displeasing to the Lord.
I have been studying character qualities lately and what we as Christians tend to forget is that the bad decisions we make concerning the environment are just as important as the other moral decisions we make that chisel away at our character. Sin is sin is sin is sin in God's eyes.
God wants us to show contentment.
Is my happiness dependent on buying more things? Does that expensive gas, guzzling car bring me closer to God? Does that large home and all the energy it takes to maintain it glorify Him? Or do those things glorify man?
God wants us to be dependable.
Dependability is “fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice.” Am I willing to sacrifice my comfort so that God can depend on me to make wise decisions with the earth? Can my children depend on me to do my part in leaving them a healthy earth, where they can breathe clean air, and have a safe food supply and drinking water?
God wants us to be diligent.
Our lives should not be about instant gratification and convenience. Slothfulness is evil. We live in a single serve society where everything has to be easy, quick, and painless – and all of those items that help us reach that convenience are hurting this earth. Am I willing to make tough choices, sacrifice and work harder to help the environment?
God wants us to show endurance.
Endurance is the inward strength to withstand stress to accomplish God’s best. Am I willing to endure some hardship in order to turn around the mess we have gotten ourselves into?
God wants us to show generosity.
Generosity is “realizing that all I have belongs to God and using it for His purposes.” If we have excess, are we willing to give it to someone else so it doesn’t go to waste? Are we willing to let others have or borrow our things so they don’t have to continue to waste?
God wants us to be gentle.
Are we willing to stop supporting the abuse and mistreatment of the animals we consume?
God wants us to be grateful.
How can we be telling Him how grateful we are for this gift He has given us in one breath and then turn around and spit on it with our actions?
God wants us to show initiative.
People are waiting to be required to make change. Why does it take something like a tax credit to motivate us to make some effort?
God wants orderliness from us.
Can we take care of our things instead of letting them fall apart and end up cluttering a landfill?
God wants us to show patience.
Can we save up and wait to purchase something of quality instead of buying cheap things now that are bad for the earth and just end up broken?
God wants us to be resourceful.
Is having this season’s fashion important when you know you can’t wear it next year and it will end up being tossed? Does God really care how stylish your shoes are? How could your resources be used for His glory instead of the glory of man?
This list could go on and on….
God wants us to be Responsible.
God wants us to show Self Control.
God wants us to be Thrifty.
God wants us to be Virtuous.
God wants us to make Wise decisions.
But most importantly, God wants us to love. Matthew 22:39 tells us to “love thy neighbor as thy self.” It is one of the two commands that Jesus gave us. The way we treat the world around us is directly linked to the way we treat our neighbors and the way we treat God. If I'm one of those people who doesn’t care about how I am harming the environment because I won’t be around when the next generations have to clean up our mess, that speaks volumes about how much I obey Jesus' command and love my neighbors. If this world is all about me and my comfort, success, and pleasure at any cost, that clarifies where God lies in my list of priorities.
There are people who won’t do it for themselves. They won’t do it for others. They won’t even do it for their children. They don’t care about the animals. You can’t even get them to buy into it when they realize that it will save them money. If for no other reason people, do it for God. He does care!
Nonbelievers are watching us and our hypocrisy. What message are we sending them when we preach how important these qualities are and then we don’t personify them in our real lives? How can we ever expect our children to become men and women of character if we aren’t modeling good behavior? How will we ever witness effectively?
My life needs to change and I made a commitment to God last night to do something about it. I have some big projects in mind to help my community that I will be sharing with you soon. Please join me. Once we know that what we are doing isn't pleasing to God, we cannot continue to do it. We must repent and make changes.