This is the first guest post of several that will be posted over the next few weeks, from Beth of Stewardship not Convenience. Beth and I connected shortly after she first began her blog, and I immediately knew that I wanted to keep up with her blog, as the topics she wrote about, and her perspective on Christian stewardship, deeply resonated with me. I've asked her to share about the very title and theme of her blog, Stewardship not Convenience.
Guest Post by Beth
When Stephanie asked me to write about Christian stewardship, I was delighted! After all, being a good steward is something that is important to me. I’m excited to get a chance to share my heart with you.
What exactly is stewardship?
Good question. Stewardship—namely, Christian stewardship—is simply recognizing that God has given us all things and that we are to take care of everything we have been given to the best of our ability. This encompasses many areas—our bodies, our minds, our skills, our environment, etc. And the purpose of doing so is solely to glorify God.
Stewardship sounds old-fashioned. Isn’t that an outdated idea?
Actually, stewardship has always been important, but it is more relevant than ever today. Everywhere around us, we hear about the supposed impending global environmental crisis. “Going green” is the hip thing to do, and buying carbon credits is what only the most responsible people would do. But nowhere in that conversation do we ever hear the word “stewardship.” Why is that? After all, isn’t “going green” good stewardship of the earth?
Not necessarily. The difference comes down to your motivation. There are many people that are interested in the environment. They buy all the carbon credits they can afford. They buy the energy star appliances. And they carry reusable shopping bags. But they do so in order to so to save the earth from what they believe to be impending doom. Perhaps they fear global warming. Or perhaps they fear the polar ice cap will melt and flood the earth. But either way, they fear, and they want you to fear, too.
But as believers in Jesus Christ, we know Who holds the earth in the palm of His hands. We know Who created the earth and is intimately involved with us. And we can confidently say that even if the polar ice cap does melt, we know Who is in charge.
Since we know Who our Creator and Sustainer is, we have no need for fear. Fear or worry should never be our motivation for taking care of the earth and all that is within it. Instead, as believers, we should focus on doing things for God’s glory.
So what does this mean for me?
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that it is wise for us to do what we can to take care of our environment. I use compact fluorescent light bulbs; I only use natural household cleaners; I’m a huge fan of cloth shopping bags; and my daughter wears cloth diapers. But I do those things because I know God created the earth for us to take care of and enjoy. We should not trash what God has given us. Rather it should be used to its full potential.
I challenge all of you readers out there to really evaluate your reasons for “going green.” Like I said before, “going green” isn’t a bad thing—in fact, it can be a really good thing--as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons. It’s so easy to watch the news or read the paper or a magazine and be frightened by some sort of bad news about the environment. But fear should never be our motivation. So, next time you reach for that biodegradable cleaner, or pick up your cloth shopping bag, think about why you’re doing it. And remember to give God the glory!