Servants of the Lordís Vineyard
As a tenants and custodians of the world we have a responsibility to care for the environment (Gen 2:15) especially when that environment directly affects our health and that of others...
A quick glance at our world will show that we have caused it to slide even from its fallen state. Much of the damage done to the Lordís vineyard has come from ravaging the earthís resources in pursuit of economic gain. Instead of worshiping and seeking the almighty God, our culture has gone berserk after the almighty dollar. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with earning a living and nothing wrong with having personal property. It just should not be earned at the expense of the environment that we all share because it is a violation of the commandment to love thy neighbor (Mt 22:39). Considering the Earth and the environment to be community property, which is on loan to us from God, also expresses a certain obligation to maintain or enhance that loan with interest (Mt 25:14-30). Therefore the privilege of free trade inherently obliges the tradesman to use the goods from which his trade is derived in a responsible fashion. But it also involves a moral obligation both to repair the damage already inflicted on nature and to prevent any toxic residue from worsening the situation. Yet the responsibility does not rest solely on the manufacturers and sellers of products made from resources that are inappropriately reaped or sewn. It also rests on us as consumers who spread the toxic chemicals by regular use and improper disposal as well as perpetuate the cycle by funding the offending companies through our purchases. This means that our responsibility to ensure the basic right for wellness through a healthy environment is now a matter of repair and prevention and that the matter is a grave one. If we can do something to repair and prevent the ravages of toxic chemicals we should do it. Otherwise by our indifference we cause the suffering of others as well as ourselves.
Taking It Personally - Lifestyle Change
What can you do to repair the poisoned environment when the scale of it is so grand? The first thing to do is to take a look at your lifestyle. You should not be content with merely voting for environmental reform but you should take action to bring it about in whatever small way is within your immediate control. Many of your daily activities involve chemicals that directly affect not just the overall environment but also your personal health in adverse ways. What is surprising to find out is that using these chemicals that cause cancer and other serious health problems is completely voluntary and that there are alternatives that are effective, affordable and convenient. Choosing to make responsible use of the Earthís resources in your own little corner of the world may seem small but the collective use by an increasing number of people is having an impact on our world.
One of the many families that have taken to heart this challenge to prevent and repair is the Bartel family. When the Bartel family discovered alternative products they switched out their entire house and even brought them to work. ďEvery time I use these products, I am reminded that I am making a difference in the world in some small way and that it is pleasing to God,Ē explains Becca Bartel. This is right on track with how Christians view material goods Becca continues, ďas God's gifts to us. They are meant to bring out in each one of us the image of God.Ē As simple as it may be, this is no small message that is entrusted to each individual family to communicate. The first educator is always the family, where the child learns to respect his neighbor and to love nature. Thatís what makes this one of those great daily opportunities to teach your children about your faith because; by example you are showing them love of neighbor and God through the world He created.
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