|Training Ground for Stewardship|
Servants All (6)
The heavens are the LORD’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man.
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Kudzu provides a parable of the creation as a whole: creation must be managed if men are to gain the maximum benefit from it for serving the Lord. Effective management of creation and its resources requires careful planning, wise use, and dutiful replacement of depleted resources, where such replacement is possible. Conservation of resources is also an important part of managing the creation, as is diligently seeking new ways of using resources that have proven useful for various applications. The management of creation is a question of stewardship. The earth is the Lord’s (Ps. 24:1), but He has entrusted it to men, that they should care for it well.
Planning, management, and wise use of the earth’s resources are extremely important to the long-term prosperity of the human race. The disciplines of stewardship that we apply to earth-keeping can also serve us in other ways as we pursue our callings to build the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. The disciplines of work, the appreciation of beauty, and of a job well done, and the proper care of tools that children learn working on their family’s lawn can translate into a work ethic that will serve them well as adults. I recently read of a middle school conservation program in Woodstock, Virginia, that couples maintaining the local landscape – roadsides, streams, and so forth – with helping the needy in the community. The skills children use in caring for the creation around them are also put to use in caring for those in need. Thus they learn that those who cannot care for themselves are our responsibility; we are our brother’s keeper.
Even on a national level we see how the stewardship of the creation affects other areas of life – industry, real estate development, water use, and so forth. In other times, when people were less concerned about proper stewardship of the creation, resources were exhausted, landscapes destroyed, and people and economies harmed by improper resource management. As we have learned to be better stewards of our environment, we have also learned to improve energy use, control harmful substances (such as DDT and CO2), and create products that are friendlier, not only to the environment, but to humanity as a whole.
Thus the creation serves to teach us better stewardship in a wide range of ways, many of which can help us as we carry out our work of building the Church. What we learn caring for the earth can be of much value as we pursue the work of caring for God’s flock and building His Church for the generations to come.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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