How faith in Christ has helped me to re-evaluate my stance on environmental activism
Last year, I did something I never thought I would do. I went to church. Every Sunday I would walk through the big door and learn about God. Soon enough, I fell in love with the people and the church, but most importantly, with Jesus.
From a very young age, I’ve always loved nature and the environment. I was aware that every choice I made – big or small – had an impact on the world around me. So, when I became aware of the devastating effects of climate change, I knew I had to make the right choices and help others to do the same as well. As I grew up, I learned more and more about all the heart-breaking stories from around the world. I never learned about people who had positive results from their activism. This made me feel helpless and as if nothing I could do would make any difference at all. Ultimately, I was worried.
Every time I turned on the news, there seemed to be a plethora of catastrophic consequences because of the wrong choices people were making, seemingly with no remorse or conscience. This amount of distressing news surrounded and overwhelmed me. I resigned myself to the fact that this was the price we paid for economic gain and it was the end of our planet Earth. Everyone would continue with their lives, indifferent to the fact that we were destroying the only home we have. I grieved the loss of this beautiful Earth and all the innocent animals.
But then I became a Christian.
Overwhelmed by God’s love
Instead of being overwhelmed by the number of negative news stories I hear, I am now overwhelmed by the love of God.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).
Instead of feeling like I have the weight of the world on my small shoulders, I give my burdens to Jesus, who took them to the cross.
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken (Psalm 55:22).
Instead of feeling helpless and afraid, I put my trust in God, who has a plan for everyone.
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 118:6).
I feel brand new.
The future is in God’s hands
Of course, I am still passionate about the environment and looking after the planet that God created. However, the heavy burden of helplessness and fear for the end of the world has gone and been replaced by hope, love and trust. I no longer feel that I am responsible for saving the Earth, for I cannot do that alone. Being a Christian has given me peace of mind and assured me that the future of the world isn’t in my hands. It’s in God’s hands.
Caring for creation
However, we can’t ignore the fact that climate change is happening and live our lives recklessly, without care. We must come together, united in Christ, to respect our wonderful planet that God has made for us to live on. We must treat it with kindness and compassion. God created the Earth and everything on it so, just as Christians are called to pray, meet and study God’s word, shouldn’t we see caring for creation as an essential part of following Jesus? It doesn’t have to be a radical, life-altering change, like becoming vegan or protesting, just respect and consideration for the planet and those we share it with.
Climate change is a real and pressing danger and we should be making every effort to help combat it. We shouldn’t do it because we are afraid as I used to be, but out of love for the Earth that our God created and has called ‘good’ (Genesis 1:10).
The Bible gives us many lessons on living sustainably and how to care for God’s creation (Genesis 2:15). Despite the fact that, as Christians we are not to fear climate change, these assurances shouldn’t make us complacent to the needs of our environment. In addition, harming the Earth brings suffering to our neighbours, who God calls us to love (Mark 12:30-31).
This belief and passion of mine led me to start a Christian, non-profit organisation with the aim of raising awareness of climate change and spreading the good news of the gospel. The purpose of the ‘Tree of Life Foundation’ is to plant as many trees as we can to help absorb the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as they grow. You can help by sponsoring your own tree(s) or donating land to plant them on. There is more information at noddfachurch.com/tree-of-life