There are few topics that cause as much controversy and polarizing opinions as the environment. When someone asks what you think of the environment and the issues surrounding it, sometimes it just feels easier to avoid the conversation altogether.
But as awkward and difficult as it is, followers of Jesus Christ need to think, act, and respond to this important topic.
The question is, “How?”
Early in my marriage, Theresa and I planned to have a getaway weekend. At the time, I was working several part-time jobs because we were very poor. And one of my bosses, who was quite wealthy, found out about my plans. So right before we were going to leave, he tells me, “Hey, I have a little gift for you to really enjoy your time!”
Then he pulls up in a silver Nissan 280Z, which was one of the hottest sports cars at the time (I know, I’m dating myself with this!). He hands me the keys and says, “I want you and your wife to have a really good time.”
My first thought was, “I’d better not wreck this car!”
My second thought was, “I probably should test this to make sure it’s going to be okay for us.” I couldn’t wait to drive it! So I took it out and I punched that thing a few times. It was really fast!
Later, when Theresa and I were on our trip, I was feeling pretty cool up until I had to park it. I started to think, “What if another car’s door hits it and dents it?”
Now, you might be thinking, “Ok, that’s a nice story, Chip, but what does your boss’s car have to do with the environment?”
I believe this is similar to how God thinks about the planet that He’s entrusted to you and me.
The truth is the earth belongs to God.
Psalm 24:1-2 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it, for He founded it on the seas, He established it on the waters.”
So, if God made the Earth, then it’s spiritual. It’s important. It matters.
Let me say it again: the environment really, really matters to God.
So what does this mean for us?
God is the greatest artist and the greatest architect. And one of the great ways we honor Him is to respect what He has made. We study what He has made. And we give Him honor, and credit, and praise for the beauty and the provision that He’s made for us.
We’re also supposed to honor God’s creation because He made it. It’s valuable, it’s precious, it’s irreplaceable, and it’s sacred. It’s not just a piece of land.
My boss gave me something precious and sacred that was for my pleasure, but I also felt a tremendous weight of responsibility to both enjoy it and not mess it up.
How much more do you think God expects us to take responsibility for the earth that He’s entrusted to us?
If you’d like to explore this topic more in-depth, check out Chip’s series “Culture Shock.”
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip