Last week we noted Jesus’ instruction that we are to love our neighbour. We discovered how our consumption could demonstrate love for neighbour through the supply-chain and by using our power to make wise purchases where people are ultimately honoured. This week we look at how our consumption affects our planet.

Reading 

Genesis 2:15 The Lord God placed the human in the Garden of Eden to work in it and protect it.

Reflection 

I recently heard someone say that the greatest threat to our beautiful world is the belief that someone else will do something to protect it. Here in the opening chapters of Genesis, which set the scene and trajectory for the biblical story, we have the command to work the earth and to protect it. This instruction is given to us before humans messed anything up, therefore, it is a creation command that is applicable for all times and circumstances.

The Bible declares, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (Ps 24:1), which means the earth belongs to God, and we have been entrusted with God’s beautifully good creation, to work it and protect it. Creation should not be viewed as some commodity to be used and abused. Creation is a precious gift that belongs to God and has been given to us for our benefit and blessing. We are responsible for this world, and our responsibility includes protecting it.
 
Consuming is a good and appropriate feature of our lives and we should not feel guilty about being consumers. However, we need to admit that overconsumption could very well be a direct cause of our planet’s demise and even destruction. There is no planet B. A piece of wisdom I heard the other day said that, the best time to plant a tree is 30 years ago. The second-best time to plant a tree is today. In the same way, if we begin today to think about how our consumption affects the planet in negative and positive ways, we will begin to be part of the solution to the current situations we face.
 
Sometimes I meet people who have scientific questions or concerns about “climate change” or “climate disruption” as it is also called. I am not a scientist so I am not in a position to assess and adjudicate the scientific material and data. I do find the summary reports of the numerous studies that have been done to be instructive and I see no reason to doubt the conclusions of the majority of the scientific community.

However, I am convinced that this discussion distracts us from the issues. The fact is our over-consumption is destroying the planet and we can see the devastating effect it’s having on the bio-diversity of animal and plant life. These are areas where we can begin to make significant changes in our lifestyles that will have an immediate effect for good on our planet. The instruction of Scripture is that we work and protect this world, and we cannot let our concerns about one issue distract us from practising protection and preservation in other areas.

Prayer 

Gracious God we thank you for the beautiful gift of creation. Help us to appreciate the goodness of the world you have entrusted us with. Give us wisdom and insight as we seek to preserve our world. Help us to exercise self-control and foresight as we consider the implications of our purchases on this beautiful world.

Questions 

What do my purchasing choices and consumption habits do to planet earth?  

Are there products that are more environmentally friendly that we could purchase?


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