When I was a relatively new Christian, I supported an environmental organization. I disagreed with most of their policies and stances, but I couldn’t find a Christian organization that actively supported the first commandment in the Bible.
“Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it” (HCSB®)
The subduing might sound aggressive in our language, however it was anything but that. We are not a conquering creation by design. That violence of subduing only came through sin.
Anything the newly created man did was to be done in God’s image as his steward upon earth. So we likewise need to tend to the world around us as God does. And how is that? There are lots of Scriptures addressing God’s care for his creations, but I like one in Isaiah.
“He protects His flock like a shepherd;
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them in the fold of His garment.
He gently leads those that are nursing.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand?
Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure
or weighed the mountains in a balance
and the hills in the scales?” (HCSB®)
God is gentle. God protects and nurtures. He could obliterate everything with a move of his hand, but he chooses gentleness.
Gentleness lets the earth lay fallow at times so nutrients can return to the soil. Gentleness studies which plants work best together or how to avoid blight or disease.
Gentleness tries to minimize pollution or other unfortunate side effects of mankind’s step upon our planet.
Gentleness cares for whatever animals our under our notice. This could be putting out food for wild birds or taking regular care of the animals assigned to us—whether for livelihood or as pets.
Gentleness gives to others a share of what God has blessed us with from the earth. As Boaz instructed his men to pull out a little extra so Ruth could find enough food for herself and her mother-in-law, so we should spread that blessing however we can.
This is by no means the limit for living gently upon the earth. I’m sure anyone who reads this can think of a few more and that’s good.
In this month that celebrates the earth, as Christians let’s find ways to be gentle to all of God’s creation!
Susan A. J. Lyttek, author of four novels, award-winning writer, blogger, wife and mother to two homeschool graduates, writes in time snippets and on random pieces of scratch paper. She also enjoys training up the next generation of writers by coaching 6th to 12th grade homeschool students.