My Father's World
As a Christian, I believe that God made the world, and he made it
good. Over and over in the biblical account of creation in Genesis 1,
God tells us that each aspect of the world is good.
God created a world of breathtaking beauty, mind-bending intricacy,
and an emotionally satisfying interdependence.
Isaiah tells us that God made the world â€œto be inhabitedâ€�:
For this is what the Lord says--
he who created the heavens, he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it;
he did not create it to be empty,
but formed it to be inhabited.
He wanted people and animals to coinhabit the earth, so he made all
that was necessary to sustain our lives.
Then God did something very risky. He made people responsible for
it all. He created male and female in his own image, and
God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in
fill the earth and subdue it.
Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of
the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
Recently that passage has been misinterpreted by Christians and by
those who oppose Christianity alike as justifying the abuse and misuse
of the environment. But most Christians know that, when God
entrusts something to our care, it involves a grave responsibility to
nourish and cherish, not to exploit. After all, God gives us our
children. They come into our lives helpless and dependent on us. No
one, Christian or non-Christian, would contend that that means we
can treat them any way we choose.
One word scripture uses for such responsibility is â€œstewardship.â
€� A steward or manager is someone responsible for something that
belongs to someone else, and there are numerous examples of
stewards in scripture.
In the book of Luke, Jesus tells about
a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions.
So he called him in and asked him, â€œWhat is this I hear about
an account of your management, because you cannot be manager
God wants us to make wise and careful use of the responsibilities heâ
€™s given us. If we fail to, we will be called to account. As Jesus
â€œWho then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master
charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the
time. It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing
when he returns.â€�
But, the passage continues, the manager who fails to care for his
masterâ€™s possessions will be punished.
As a Christian, I can be a more effective and pleasing steward of the
beauty and wonder of Godâ€™s creation by limiting my use of its
natural resources as much as possible, by being content with less, and
by considering that God's care and blessings are for everyone on
earth as much as they are for me.
We are all his people, and God has entrusted each of us with the
responsibility to preserve and protect his creation so that all his
creatures, now and forever, can enjoy the beauty and bounty of our