The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. Psalm 24:1, NASB
Knowing that the earth belongs to God — that it is His and not ours! — do you think that should affect our attitude toward the planet and how we treat it?
If you walk into someone’s house and throw trash on their floors, dump poison into various drinks in the ‘fridge, and set off a smoke bomb to taint the air, how much respect does that show for not only those who live there, but also for the homeowner?
How different is it to wantonly pollute and destroy the planet? How much respect does that show the Lord who owns it?
If you’ve never heard it put that way, chances are your church views environmentalism & perhaps even Earth Day itself as devices of “godless liberals.” That’s how I used to view them anyway. Yet here I am, and I am certainly not godless by any means. I may be perhaps a tad more socially liberal, but I trust my views are based upon the Scriptures and so I don’t fret about it.
So the Earth is the Lord’s. Today many people will be celebrating the planet. I’m all for recognizing Earth Day, but I propose that to celebrate the planet is to place the emphasis in the wrong place. Let’s celebrate the Lord who made the planet, and let’s do so by taking care of it.
Our attitude toward that which God owns reflects our attitude toward Him, so I’m encouraging all of my readers to make a commitment — however small or seemingly insignificant it may be — to do something which will help improve the planet. Here are some suggestions from WikiHow:
- Plant trees. That’s simple enough, right? And admit it, you’ve always wanted an apple or peach tree! A small tree planted today may be a great climbing tree for your children or grandchildren (or even their children!), so not only are you improving the planet, but you’re making a small investment into the childhood of potentially quite a few children. Good for you! :-)
Planting trees helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, clean pollution, secure soil in place to prevent erosion, and provide homes for all sorts of God’s creatures!
- Turn junk into art. Whether it’s as simple as converting a used plastic bottle (from juice or pop, for instance) into a bird feeder or as interesting as making a centerpiece out of used guitar strings, simple crafts have the potential of keeping quite a bit of waste out of the landfills, which is always a good thing!
- Learn more about the environment. Study up on what the Bible says about the planet and the God who created and owns it. Hit the local library and bone up on any of a myriad of subjects: pollution, endangered species, water shortages, recycling, and climate change are just some examples. If you find an area that interests you, look into getting involved with a local group that is involved with the same area.
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle. The good ol’ three Rs. Not only will you keep additional material out of the landfills, but new raw materials won’t have to be processed, shipped, and so on. There is so much benefit from the three Rs that it would be impossible to list them all here. Just imagine if everyone did these things on a daily basis!
- Encourage hand-me-downs. Don’t let your children throw old toys out. Teach them to pass them down to younger siblings. The giving kids will learn valuable lessons, including the importance of generosity as well as the importance of reuse and recycling. And while you’re teaching your kids, make sure you reuse when you’re able.
- And much more! Check out WikiHow.com for more ideas and tips.
And for strictly Saturday-morning-cartoon-nostalgia reasons, here are Captain Planet’s top ten eco-tips.
Remember: It isn’t about worshiping the earth. It isn’t about so-called environmental conspiracies. It is about treating the planet as a gift from the Lord and as something which still belongs to Him. Happy Earth Day, and God bless you.