Don’t pollute! Don’t waste! Protect the environment! These battle cries have been going on for decades by environmentalists concerned about the future of our planet, its limited resources, and the way it is being treated. It has now become both a national and global debate. But does God care? Is He concerned? How should Christians respond to this issue?
I know the idea of being “green” or “environmentally friendly” can be very politically charged, so I want to make it clear from the beginning this is not about politics. I believe whenever we talk about sustainability, pollution control, resource management, etc., we are talking about a God topic because He made it all! So politics aside, what does God say about how we should treat His creation called earth?
Genesis 2:8-9a, 15 – Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food….. The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
We can see from scripture that from the very beginning, God created this planet for our benefit. The world in which we live was essentially God’s gift to us to use and enjoy! But if you notice, there are also a couple of responsibilities attached (i.e. “work it” and “take care of it”). This implies a couple of things:
Responsible Resource Management
The picture of Adam “working” the garden is the same as a farmer working on his farm. The natural resources are already in place so now there is simply the responsibility to work with what is provided. This requires both time and energy in order to make sure these natural resources yield the best crops possible. God is simply communicating that He has given us a planet with amazing natural resources and we are to play our part in resource management.
We are called to “work” at it, pay attention to it, be intentional about making sure these resources are handled in the most responsible and beneficial way. In other words, a careless or carefree approach to what God has provided is not a godly approach. Everybody needs to care about the planet. Everyone needs to take responsibility and be good stewards with what God has provided. This both honors God and shows our gratitude for what He has provided.
Responsible Resource Protection
When God told Adam to “take care” of the garden, he was not only telling him to value it but to also protect it! To “take care” of something is to prevent any kind of hurt or harm from taking place. When we “take care” of our children, cars, or homes, we provide the needed attention in order to ensure their protection not our own. Therefore, when it comes to the environment and natural resources, God wants us to do the same. We are called to protect what God has provided! This may require addressing topics such as pollution, waste, recklessness, or any other form of bad management that puts our natural resources in harm’s way. Protecting our natural resources is more than a “running out” issue, it’s about caring for what God has provided.
I realize this can be a political hot topic, but we must be careful not to confuse politics with the truth of God’s word. Regardless if you’re a republican, democrat, independent, socialist, or even communist, God wants us to take responsibility and be good stewards with what he has provided.
So does God want you to be “green”? Well if you define green as responsible resource management and protection, the answer is yes. If you have a different definition of green, then you will have to hold it up to the truth of God’s word in order to decide… That is Faith in the Real World!!
If you found this post helpful, be sure to share with others on the social media links below. Also, feel free to share your comments at the bottom of the page.