God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of the earth.” (Genesis 1:26, The Message)
Dominion. What does that mean? I think the word is often misunderstood and misapplied. We exploit creation for our gain. We abuse God-given resources in the name of convenience.
We use Genesis 1:26 as an excuse.
I’m not, for the record, a very environmentally-conscious person. In fact, I am downright horrible when it comes to this area. I love nature and exploring creation, but when I’m going through a drive-through or buying factory-made, prepackaged snacks in the grocery store, I am wholly focused on ways to make my life as easy and hassle-free as possible.
I’ve been thinking lately.
To subdue the earth doesn’t mean destroy it.
I know that’s never our conscious intent, but still…
I wonder, sometimes, if as Christians, we should be taking the lead on environmental issues?
A few months ago, I was visiting a friend. It was a gray, winter day. The warm smell of potato-leek soup filled her kitchen. Laughter drifted up the basement stairwell where the children were playing as she and I prepared lunch.
“You see this bag?”
I curiously eyed the tiny bag of garbage that my friend was holding up.
“This is several weeks worth of trash.”
It was less than my household produces in a single day. My friend’s family of four has been working very hard to reduce their garbage output, and I can’t tell you how much I admire her for that. She inspires me.
Several weeks ago, my girls brainstormed environmentally-conscious lifestyle changes that we could easily make. They chose waste reduction as their first project. I wasn’t sure where to begin, but we headed to an eco-friendly children’s store in the neighbourhood to see what was available.
We discovered a treasure trove: metal containers, metal straws, reusable beeswax food wraps, reusable snack bags—just to name a few. The girls excitedly chose brightly-patterned snack bags. I grabbed a package of food wraps and a box of metal straws. It wasn’t much and it came with a hefty price tag, but it’s a start.
We’re excited about these changes.
And we want you to share our excitement, too. Plus, it helps keep us accountable. Because if, as Genesis 1:26 says, we are to reflect God’s nature in how we care for the earth, we need to be better stewards.
(Are you ready for this?)
Here’s a challenge from our family to yours: Brainstorm. Start small. Find one thing—just one thing—that you can change.
And then do it.
Will you join us?