Should Christians “Go Green”?

RecycleOk, before you think the cheese has totally “slid off my cracker” and I’ve become a “sandal-wearing-tree-hugger”; you need to know this post comes from wrestling with a tough biblical truth recently. It’s something simple that many Christians would quickly agree with, but then live a lifestyle denying it. Here it is, are you ready? The Bible says, “God owns everything.” (Psalm 24:1, 1 Cor. 10:26). Now you’re probably thinking, “Well duh! I learned that while finger-painting in Sunday School”. So, here’s the question, “As grown-ups, what does that mean for us?”

It means we’re created and charged with being good stewards of all God has made (Genesis 1:28, 2:15). You see stewardship is a key truth in scripture. From the Hebrews representing God’s truth to the world and Jesus’ stories regarding good and bad managers, to Paul’s commitment to share the Gospel; you can see it’s a lot bigger than choosing an “earth-friendly” yogurt container. It’s a mindset recognizing God as sovereign over this place we call home and having a spirit of gratitude for all He’s given. As a matter of fact, Jesus said God is mindful of everything, even a small bird in the sky (Matthew 10:29-31).

So what do we do? Become activist and try to “save the earth” from “evil capitalism?” Of course not, the Earth doesn’t need saving and capitalism isn’t the enemy, but we need to consult the owner on a regular basis. This is an incredible world God has made and continues to sustain for us. Since the God of the Bible is the Creator; we should acknowledge His instructions concerning the physical world, the people in it, and our attitude toward generosity. I can’t tell you specifically what that means for you, but I know it involves an eye to appreciate God’s handiwork…which is a masterpiece!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go out and recover my recycle bin from where the dude chunked it this morning after pick-up.

A Golden Nugget to Pass Along

My inbox reminds me of a certain space on our kitchen counter where things appear “out of nowhere”. However, today one of the many emails was a golden nugget from Chuck Swindoll. It came via his blog to pastors, but even though it’s written to ministers, it’s very applicable to all believers. It was a great reminder to pause and evaluate my attitude. Perhaps you would like to do the same. Consider this excerpt:

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“My maternal granddad was the most influential adult in my life as I grew up. One day he said to me, “I want to explain something to you.” And he used a big word I had never heard before: erosion. The bank that dropped off into the bay was continually being eaten away by the pounding waves and rainy weather. We walked over near the edge, and he measured a certain distance from that point to where the bank dropped off down to the water. He drove a stake into the ground. “You’re going to be here next summer,” he told me, “and we’ll measure this again then.”…

No one I’ve worked with in ministry who has fallen morally sat on the side of his bed one morning and thought, Let’s see, now, how can I ruin my life? How can I implode my reputation? Erosion doesn’t happen like that. It is always silent; it is always slow; it is always subtle. But its final blow is always severe.”

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Chuck then goes on to mention Paul’s words, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” –
1 Corinthians 10:12

Every day is a good day to evaluate what’s influencing our thinking because the consequences of anger, bitterness, pride, greed, and lust may have different roots, but the fruit is always the same…loss. May we prayerfully stay ahead of the erosion, and stand firm on the solid ground of God’s daily renewal (Romans 12:1-2).

– You can find the complete original post from Chuck Swindoll by clicking here

You Are Special…So Act Like It

You are Special coverThis week I’m reminded of the book “You are Special” by Max Lucado. It’s a timeless classic and one of my favorites. In it, we follow the journey of a Wemmick named Punchinello (Wemmicks are small wooden people carved by Eli). With the help of Lucia, Punchinello discovers that peer-acceptance is a ridiculous pursuit, and that Eli’s approval is what really matters.

Over the years, I’ve thought of Punchinello many times. Similar to his friends (giving stars and dots for approval/disapproval), our society also ranks people. From personal pursuits to “Like” buttons and “followers”, we can spend a lot of energy cultivating approval. Even in church work, an image can be sought more than the actual ministry we’re called to. So at the end of the day, what makes one special? Is it a skill-set, appearance, or intellect? Perhaps, it’s the general likeability of one’s demeanor? Actually, it’s none of those.

We humans are special because we’re made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27) with an eternal soul as He forms us (Psalm 139:13). Even the people I would rather avoid are made in His image, and Jesus came to offer new life to all who will trust in Him. The Bible says:

“…God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8 NKJV

So what should a daily “special” life look like? It’s:

  • Remembering that God’s opinion matters more than anyone’s
  • Looking to scripture for the definition of valuable pursuits
  • Praying and seeking for the right mindset each day (Rom. 12:1-2)
  • Teaching our children to seek God’s approval before peer-acceptance
  • Helping others find their true worth in Christ
  • Treating people with respect and grace as Jesus did
  • Recognizing the unborn, the infirmed, and the elderly as having innate worth

Like it was with Punchinello, peer-pressure can be tough; but when it’s all said and done, their opinions aren’t what will matter…it’s His that will.

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