Search This Blog

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Stewardship and the Imago Dei

Alice C. Linsley

Stewardship is a biblical value and at its core is the recognition that humans were created in the image of God (Imago Dei) with a God-like role in superintending God's Earth.

We tend to look at stewardship too narrowly; in the sense of local church giving of time, talent, and treasure. However, in the biblical view humans have responsibility for protection, preservation, and restoration of wholesome environments for humans and other living creatures. For the most part, we do this rather well, though often out of self-interest rather than as divinely-appointed stewards (Genesis 2:15).

Animal activists play a part. Those who seek to preserve endangered species and protect shrinking habitats play a part. Agriculturalists who plant crops to prevent erosion play a part. One need not be religious to feel the impulse to work for such causes. It may be that the impulse to tend life on Earth comes from being made in the image of the Creator. If that is so, that is worth considering and honoring.

Each week I pass a Presbyterian church that has a sign that declares the congregation to be "an environmentally caring" community. That sign troubles me for two reasons: it seems trendy, and a church should be known for it commitment to the Gospel. Stewardship of Earth's resources from the secular perspective is a legitimate ethical issue. Stewardship of Earth's resources from the perspective of the biblical worldview is a matter of living in the image of God.

Living consciously in the image of God is to live in one of the greatest gifts humans have received. That gift needs tending more than ever.