Mary and Martha Moment: Called to be Good Stewards of the Earth

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Called to be Good Stewards of the Earth

Why do we pray? Because God asks us to, and we love Him. (Also, if we’re really honest with ourselves, to feel a bit better about our day, be more grounded and cover all our bases. But the first answer is the correct one!)

Why do we shower? Because we’d stink if we didn’t, and even if we didn’t mind, we like to avoid offending people around us. (Plus, it’s a time to ourselves – sometimes! – in a day full of kids/bosses/spouses/etc.)

Why do we care about the environment? All of the above.

(1)   Because we MUST. As a Christian I am compelled by the grace of God within me to do as the medicinal Hippocratic oath states:  “Do no harm.”  I firmly believe that this applies equally to humans and humanity, whose welfare depends on the sustainability of the planet we inhabit.

(2)   Because God tells us to in Genesis 1:28.  “Fill the earth and subdue it.”  Subdue doesn’t mean “destroy” but to be in control of, or even to cultivate.

(3)   Because we don’t want to offend others, or worse yet, be the cause of their getting cancer or struggling with infertility.

(4)   Because we love God and we love our children and we desire nothing more than to leave them a legacy in this world. There’s no better way to start leaving a legacy than by making sure that the Earth is a beautiful, awe-inspiring, livable place as God intended it to be.   No better way to ensure that legacy than by reducing the negative impact your life has on the planet.

National Parks often are peppered with quaint signs:  “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints.”  We must take that wisdom and make it our mantra. In this world, God calls us to preserve and protect. He gives us field and flower, animal, vegetable, and mineral to use for our benefit….but always with the qualification that we do not harm others through our living. Always with the reminder that we are living in community, and that one person’s action impacts the world around him in ways too vast for us to comprehend. I am ultimately drinking the same water the pioneers led their horses and wagons through and breathing the same air that blew over the Cross at Golgotha. We must leave this world as good as (or better than) it was bequeathed to us, depositing only our dust as we depart for Heaven, God willing.

Is it “leftist” or too trendy to “go green”? That’s not really the right question. Let us not bother with the ways of the world, but make sure we are above any labels or factions that may tempt us to avoid certain topics. If all who call themselves Christians would take up the challenge to care for the environment, wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the political left and right, the faithful and the ungodly, working hand in hand for a common, worthy goal? It is possible to be an ecological conservationist and a devout conservative in the pew at the same time. You can recycle your church bulletins. You can volunteer to clean the Sunday School clasrooms with natural products. You can bring your Klean Kanteen to Bible Study. In fact, you probably should – and encourage others to follow your good example.

Our earth must be as important to us as our financial security. How many hours have you spent working on a budget, perhaps meeting with a financial advisor, watching the stock market, or just worrying about your family’s bottom line and your retirement fund? Our children and grandchildren need us to preserve the environment with just as much fervor. If only there was a section in a standard will:

“I bequeath to my children aforementioned Earth, on which I have trod, with all its drinking water, life-giving air, fertile soil, nutritious plant life and vast animal kingdom. May they enjoy it and treasure it as I have.”

If only that section was second only to our life of faith, and always more important than our money and tangible -temporal – possessions!


We MUST be good stewards of this earth. God commands us to. He has given us a precious gift and has trusted us with great things. Let us not squander our inheritance. Let us take a little time and effort to make sure we’re not burying the earth’s resources in apathy, but rather that we invest ourselves in sustaining them tenfold.

This is the first in a series of Mary and Martha Moments exploring each of the four pillars of Kitchen Stewardship:


Visit The Finer Things in Life for more Finer Things, Homemaker Barbi for Family Friday, Hooked on Houses for Hooked on Friday, and Cents to Get Debt Free for Finding Freedom Fridays. Check out the Little Green Project at Heavenly Homemakers!

Other Mary and Martha Moments you may have missed:

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13 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    Nice post! I personally do believe that there is a line between the “green of the left”, and being a good steward of the environment as a Christian. We can indeed reuse / recycle, and use less chemicals and such to care for the environment, but we need to be careful not to let our concern for the “environmental gospel” trump the true gospel, if that makes sense. After Earth Day this year I really had to sit down and have some long discussions with my kids about environmentalism, because what had been covered in school that day scared them to death! There’s no room for fear in the life of a Christian- the Earth that God created is the Earth that God can keep. I explained to them that ultimately, humans are not going to destroy the Earth- God will in the final days- we have that promise in His Word.

    Wow, you got me thinking now 😉 Have a great weekend!!

    ~*~ Wendy ~*~
    Family Friday: Parent Adventures: Part One
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    Wendy aka CalvaryGirl’s last blog post..Family Friday: Parent Adventures

    • Katie says

      What a great addition to this discussion. Thank you for the point about God’s triumph in the end! I’m all about balance. Come back again!

  2. says

    This has been wonderful. Our parish is trying to go more green. Our priest planted a garden behind the rectory to use for meals at the rectory. We have 3 priest and they are all into healthy eating. I so agree it is all about balance.
    Thanks for sharing,

    Elizabeth Quigley’s last blog post..Let’s Talk Food

    • Katie says

      What a beautiful response to God’s call – I love that your priests are taking such a step with the gardening.

  3. Mareth says

    Very good. Thank you. I just get so down when people think that my new approaches in going more “natural” (and still be a Catholic Christian) and more aware of my environment are just “my thing.” They say they don’t have time, that’s silly, or they’re blatantly anti-conservation and disrespectful. I think family members can sometimes be the hardest to deal with. They are not interested in what they are really feeding their families or cleaning their homes with. In the end we really can’t change people. They have to want to change themselves. Maybe I got off topic but I am frustrated lately.

    • Katie says

      I know how you feel. People might ask about or comment on a new practice our family is implementing and it makes me feel like an outlier. The only way we can make “natural” products or habits mainstream is to challenge the current mainstream, though. Slowly people will understand that we can’t abuse our earth and expect it to continue to sustain us any more than we can abuse our bodies and expect to live long, healthy lives. I think it’s disrespectful of other people to think I should accept the junk they use on their bodies for my own children. Just because it’s a name brand sunscreen, for example, doesn’t mean it’s not going to hurt my little ones. Being Christians, though, we’re used to going against the flow. It comes with the territory of being “persecuted ones”. When challenged, consider offering up your frustration (valid!) for the souls and environmental conversion of those you’re speaking to. Can I say that? Environmental conversion? Now maybe I’m being lefty, but I do really believe that God calls us to care for the earth, so…. We just have to point out baby steps that don’t take too much time, and educate without judging. It takes listening to wait until someone is ready to hear a factoid so you’re not driving everyone nuts! 😉 Or you could just send them to my blog… :)

  4. says

    What a wonderful post. You bring up an interesting point about going “green” representing a leftist idea to many people who are uninformed – and that everyone can be green and friendly and it has no political meaning. The way you represent your faith is powerful in this post. Thank you for the food for thought!

    ruthee’s last blog post..Just Imagine….

  5. says

    I am a conservative and I have been “green” for years. Conservative and conservation go together.

    30 years ago it was recycling plastic bottles and glass and tin. I washed plastic baggies to reuse them and cut open toothpaste tubes to not waste anything on the inside.

    One goal this year is to not use plastic bottles so I bought a bunch of aluminum water bottles. Another goal is to “go green” on the inside! The more energy I have for me, the more I’ll have to share with others.

    There are many ways to help Earth without telling people what kind of cars to drive and homes to live in … if I hear “carbon footprint” or “global warming” one more time I’ll scream.

    God is more powerful than us. Nature is more powerful than anything we can do to her or try to control about her. Then comes common sense which is more powerful than an army of control freaks …

    Great topic!


    Viveca from FatigueBeGone’s last blog post..Monday is Juice Fasting Day! a.k.a. Alkalizing Day

    • Katie says

      Viveca, I hope you meant stainless steel water bottles. Aluminum leaches, too, and has its own issues for our health. Please check! Katie

  6. Olivia Wasik says

    Great article. You are right, Katie. People think just because you are conservative, you don’t need to care about the environment. How ironically backwards it is. I am more conservative now than I’ve ever been in every aspect of me life! :) Besides that, I think that people are just using a labeled group to hide behind so they don’t need to change. What is it about change that makes people so afraid?

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