Climate change and the environment—it’s been a hot-button topic in the news media and dinner conversations for years. That global attention has picked up steam with the recent publishing of a UN report, which warns that the world has 12 years to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions—otherwise we could see severe impacts of climate change by 2040. That’s a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population, our children’s lifetime, our grandchildren’s era. It’s a big deal to us all—especially those of us who believe the earth is a gift from God.
Psalm 24:1 tell us: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”
All political implications or affiliations aside, if we believe God created the universe and all that is within it, then we have a sacred duty to care for God’s earth. Regardless of how you vote, we can all agree that air pollution and water toxicity are not good for the earth, which belongs to God. We are caretakers of this precious gift that he’s entrusted us with to sustain for generations to come. We don’t own anything. We just enjoy the fruits of His creation.
“To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.” (Deuteronomy 10:14)
Seems pretty straightforward, right? Of all people, one could argue that Christians should be the most concerned for the earth because we know where it came from. Not only that, but we read in Genesis that God places Adam in the Garden of Eden to “tend and watch over it.” (Genesis 2:15). God even takes it a step further and gives us dominion and authority over His creation (Genesis 1:26).
To develop an ethic of stewardship, responsibility and sustainability to the earth, we can look to Jesus for guidance—who leads by example and calls us to do the same. We are called to be examples to the flock (1 Peter 5:3) and imitators of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Here are three simple things you can lead by example to help preserve God’s earth:
1. Conserve water. In many places, water is abundant. In other places—like the Pokot in western Kenya—water is far from plentiful. The Pokot tribe is a group of people who are extremely impoverished, neglected, marginalized, and are living in some of the harshest conditions on earth without access to clean water. Through Hope Water Project, in the last year we’ve successfully installed 16 wells, giving 32,000 Pokot people access to clean water.
Getting involved in Hope Water Project is one way to help the global water crisis, but you can also make simple strides at home like turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, cutting your showers short, choosing efficient fixtures and faucets. There are hundreds of small ways to conserve water that have a big impact.
2. Recycle. In a lifetime the average American will throw away 600 times the amount of his or her adult weight in garbage. We can help eliminate or waste footprint by recycling, which helps conserve resources and energy, preserves valuable landfill space and supports a healthy environment. By recycling, we are placing a valuable mark of God’s creation and provision, rather than as a thing to waste and defile.
3. Educate. Read a book, listen to a podcast, join an environmental group in your community. When you further your education, you can help others understand the importance and value of our natural resources.
Don’t we want our kids and grandkids to know that we did everything possible to protect and preserve God’s gift to us, this beautiful planet, our “common home,” as Pope Francis calls it?
What are some ways that you display care for the environment? Share your tips in the comments!