REV3 = Revitalize, Energize, Visualize

By Evangelism, Discipleship, and Shepherding

Too Busy to Separate Piles

PART 2: Three Elements of the Church

In our attempts to deal with the pollution issue and shrink the mountain of waste, our society divides the garbage into several smaller piles of like items. Is there a difference in post consumer waste piles? Yes. Some piles are organic and could be useful in time without expensive processing (John 6:12), while others are not. It is messy work. It can be tricky to decide what goes on which heap. Is “useful waste” just an oxymoron? The man-made products will always have a greater potential to harm the planet or create more toil in their “safe” disposal. Organic waste will go through a natural cycle. It decays and gets really messy and gooey with or without human help. If the organism was naturally alive, it will return to one of the basic elements on the periodic table and become useful again to revitalize and sustain life anew. Even the byproducts of this decay have proven useful to humans and their sustenance. For example, the collection of manure has been a good source of fuel and fertilizer, but let’s continue developing the point. On the non-organic pile are metals (some more precious than others) and man-made compounds. The metals will eventually decompose to their basic elements and still need to be managed. Man-made compounds reveal human attempts to make products last longer, reduce weight, or economize our creations in order to preserve our environment. All good intentions, but what is the driving force behind these inventions? Why does this non-decomposed pile continue to increase both in its size and problematic offshoots like dealing with new harmful chemicals or compounds (Psalm 102:25-26)? We humans have a choice: put these expired creations in a hole and try to bury them, hoping never to see them again, or deal with them appropriately. When the shortsightedness of our methods of disposal are tested by time, they are not always found to be truly ecologically friendly or safe. We can be haunted by our lack of foresight in the disposal of our one-time treasures. The long-term problem of our nuclear waste has in some cases required remediation after several decades proving that the first method was insufficient. Our consumeristic hunger for creating more comfort, ease, or pleasure now drives the exponential growth of this inorganic pile and has captivated not only our economy but helps drive the world markets (1 John 2:15-16). The lowering tolerance for any inconvenience has not only affected the lives of the “haves” but the “have-nots” as well. What I value, another may only treasure in their heart hoping to have, but we are both bothered by the same garbage and some of their toxic byproducts like plastic-ladened oceans and mercury contaminated rivers.2

In our consumer-driven ecosystem, “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure” has become an even more true statement. This saying has not only saved many products and their salvageable parts from one of our many growing garbage heaps but has been more than just a way to eke out an existence. It has proven to add support to our struggling economy. Even the phases of matter — liquid, solid, or gas — when reused and recycled can help in simple ways to lessen man’s self-imposed hardships in trying to exist. One of the most obvious problems with the mantra stated above is that it is very difficult to ingrain in a capitalistic society. The blessing of possessing a lot of wealth has become a curse (Proverbs 11:28). If we do not have the money to buy it, we are encouraged to borrow it with additional interest. In order to escape the financiers’ clutches, some of us get another job that will support our shopping budget. As long as one more person in the household can work or increase their hours, we succumb to the advertising drives from the sellers. “It often surprises Christians when they discover just how much the Bible talks about money. In fact there are more than 2300 verses on money, wealth and possessions. Jesus spoke about money roughly 15% of his preaching and 11 out of 39 parables. It was his most talked about topic.” 1 Why do you think that Jesus talked so much about money?

In conclusion, the busyness of our households can rob the time and energy needed to apply the triune recycling process. Similarly, the three elements of the Church (evangelism, discipleship, and shepherding) are only effective if they function in concert; one cannot be eliminated or dominate. Yet, due to lack of time and energy, we don’t want to bother with recycling or living for Jesus. In your mind and heart, have you thrown your church on a pile (possible pile names: Renew, Recycle, Old-Fashioned, Harsh, etc.)? The Bible also talks about rubbish. Philippians 3:8 states, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” Considering the above, do you think it is Biblical to live out this verse, the 3R motto, and cut down on consumerism?

1 Cook, A. (2016, February 19). Why does the Bible mention money so often?. Wealth With Purpose. https://wealthwithpurpose.com/god-money/why-does-the-bible-mention-money-so-often/

Author: Wilf Scheuermann, excerpt from the transcript, God’s Grade ©2015; Photo by ready made: https://www.pexels.com/photo/mobile-phone-with-green-recycling-sign-and-mesh-bag-3850512/

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