I firmly believe the Lord has given us the responsibility of stewarding (exercising dominion over) his marvelous creation. Therefore, I think it's worth considering how we can be performing this calling to the best of our ability.
It's easy to point out the "big" and obvious sins, such as stealing, adultery, murder, etc. But, since we are all sinners, we all sin. And Scripture makes perfectly clear that greed, gluttony, and laziness are just as out of place in the Kingdom of God as stealing. I rather think that America, as a nation, has made convenience, acquisition, and over-consumption the norm rather than the exception.
Don't get me wrong: I can't imagine a picnic without paper plates. How did people pack school lunches before the invention of plastic, particularly Ziploc bags? And I'm ever so grateful for modern toiletry products. I think there's a time and place for convenience. Holidays and special celebrations have always been times of feasting. It's not wrong to give presents and to buy things. We're certainly going to be feasting this Friday for the 4th of July (and using plenty of paper products in the process).
But, there's always room for improvement in our stewardship of the Lord's creation. For instance, I need to be better about filling the sink up with water instead of simply letting the tap run whenever I wash dishes. I could take shorter showers. I end up wasting food. I throw away lots of paper when I'm too lazy to find the recycling area. But, viewing the earth as the Lord's and our role in it as stewards puts a different spin on the going green movement. In that mindset, I've tried to think of ways I can cut down on, say, my earlier massive paper towel use.
Being a good steward of something inevitably involves at least a little bit of work and sacrifice. Otherwise, people would have no trouble stewarding Creation. Frequently, being a better steward in the short run will reap rewards in the long run, so those little sacrifices and work will pay off in some way (think of farmers--they certainly put in the work upfront in order to reap a harvest!).
How can we, as stewards, manage our world better? What areas in your life are full of extravagant use or needless waste simply because you're lazy? Is there an area in which you can be a better steward of the portion of Creation the Lord has entrusted to your care? I hope this little series has encouraged you to think of something you can change or improve in this area.
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