Another Earth Day celebration has come and gone, yet the old question remains: how then shall we live? Can we live a Gospel lifestyle? The following guidelines are found in the Holy Bible. If we think these will never work, remember the example of St. Francis who lived this out and more. He found a life of joy and transformation.
1. Live lightly on the earth: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Matt 6:25 NIV)
2. Keep it simple: “…be on your guard against greed…a person’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15 NIV)
3. Gather according to need. “…Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need…” (Ex 16:16 NIV)
4. Know what is enough. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (Matt 6:19 NIV)
5. Be content. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have…” (Heb 13:5 NIV)
6. Be generous, share: Do good…be rich in good deeds…be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim 6:18 NIV)
7. Build community. …All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need. (Acts 4:32–35 NLT)
Yes, a new heaven and new earth are promised, but remember the nobleman who said to his servants: “Occupy till I come!” (Luke 19:13 KJV) It’s up to us to care for creation and cherish the earth.
Need a good Bible study? Try Cherish the Earth, the Environment & Scripture, by J. E. Kirk & D. R. Kirk (https://wipfandstock.com, 2016)