2. Sustainable

  1. Being a Christian in work is being sustainable. Following Jesus Christ in our work means being sustainable because Jesus looks after nature,164 has authority over nature165 and asks us to do what pleases His Father. We deal with nature sustainably in our work because nature belongs to God, God loves nature, He shows Himself in it, He gives us the assignment to do so and we honor God with it.166 An eye for creation begins with an eye for the Creator. Christian faith offers the most fundamental and appealing reasons to go for a green world.
  2. We work sustainably with nature in our work because nature belongs to God. God created the earth and therefore He is its owner.167 The earth is on loan for us to work with it and on it. The earth is not a consumer product. All the resources, minerals, energy sources, and materials that we use in our work are components of God’s creation. Without light, air, and water, we would not be able to work. Therefore, to pollute nature is to steal from God. In our work, we are not only workers in God’s creation but also of His creation. All our work has an impact on nature. Therefore, we should not leave nature worse than how we found it.
  3. We treat nature sustainably in our work because God is a lover of nature.168 God loves animals and plants, mountains and seas, clouds and soil. God created a green world because He loves greens, and He is green. To love God means to love what God loves and what God made. Therefore, being a Christian in our work means being the most ardent and fervent lover of nature in our work. Environmental problems concern us because they concern God and because all environmental problems are a result of our sins. Without the fall of man there would not have been any environmental problems. That nature suffers is our fault.169 That the earth is not sighing now but even screaming is our fault. Had Jesus lived on earth today, wouldn’t He have preached strongly about today’s environmental problems, our guilt and eventual repentance for them?
  4. We treat nature sustainably in our work because God shows Himself in nature. Nature displays God’s divinity, His constant presence, His infinite power, and His given order.170 Nature shows God’s creativity, beauty, and versatility. Nature shows God’s sovereignty and supremacy: without God, no flower can bloom. In nature blossoms God’s nature. The earth contains God’s nature. In nature, God speaks to us. By managing nature sustainably, we give present and future generations a picture of God’s general revelation. To preserve nature is to preserve creation’s testimony about the Creator. When we spoil nature, we spoil God’s universal revelation and deprive ourselves and others of a proper view of God through His creation. Destroying nature is like destroying the Bible, God’s religious revelation. By polluting the environment, we are hiding God from the world, silencing Him.
  5. We treat nature sustainably in our work because God instructs us to do so. God loves nature so much that He asks us to maintain and conserve it.171 In fact, natural conservation was the first command God gave to humankind.172 God appointed humankind not only to maintain the world, but also to mine and develop it. God created the world with much potential for us to create. Our behavior in our work should promote the fertility of creation. We should deal with nature in our work as God desires, as God asks of us: not to dominate but to rule.
  6. We treat nature sustainably in our work because by doing so we honor God. We honor the Creator by taking care of His creation. Sustainable development is not only for the benefit of present and future generations, but it is first and foremost for the benefit of God. We dishonor God when we neglect His creation. Making nature suffer because of unbridled human pursuit of prosperity and well-being is an assault against God and an indictment of mankind. To disturb, exhaust, degrade or even destroy nature is to disregard and deny God. To pollute nature is to bargain with God’s natural laws and with God himself. Through sustainable handling of nature, we honor God by referring to His intention to one day restore the entire earth.173 Nature conservation is taking a forward step toward God’s new earth.
  7. Working sustainably means that in our work, we may extract minerals and energy from nature. After all, God has given us the task of developing nature as well as possible, and this task cannot be done without minerals and energy.
  8. Working sustainably means minimizing the damage to nature resulting from our work. God appreciates it when we use energy sparingly in our work, reuse and recycle materials, reduce our ecological footprint, make and use sustainable products, take responsibility for the environmental performance of the entire chain of which we are a part, and when our production and consumption of environmentally damaging products are becoming lesser. Moreover, God is the ultimate recycler: He will one day renew the earth instead of throwing it away.
  9. Working sustainably means we do not cause permanent damage to nature, we compensate for this damage, and we also improve, develop, restore nature. God appreciates it when we replant devastated areas, clear up waste, and purify water, soil, and air. God, however, denounces when we accept environmental problems. Accepting deforestation, land and water degradation, and global warming is a contempt for God who created nature perfectly.
  10. Working sustainably means treating animals humanely. Whoever neglects the welfare of animals, disparages God. God created animals with feelings for a reason. Animal abuse is a sin.
  11. Working sustainably means maintaining biodiversity. Diversity is inherent in every aspect of God’s creation. God created the world with limitless natural diversity. Reducing biodiversity is eradicating God’s creation.
  12. Working sustainably means being mindful of our work’s short- and long-term effects on nature. God does not let go of what He made because God is of the long term. To God, the earth is not a disposable commodity. “After me, the flood” is a shameful thought.
  13. Working sustainably means that we can only do so if we believe in God. Environmental problems are signs that we are going beyond the boundaries God has set for His creation. Environmental problems are, above all, signs of our sinfulness. The root of environmental problems is our hearts. Without renewing our hearts, we cannot work to make the world more sustainable. Faith in God is essential to solving environmental problems. From the Holy Spirit we receive the heart, wisdom, and strength to work sustainably.

  1. Matthew 6:26, Mark 1:13
  2. Matthew 14:32-33, Mark 4:41-43, John 2:7-9
  3. Genesis 2:15, Psalm 8:7
  4. Psalm 24:1
  5. Psalm 50:10-11
  1. Romans 8:21
  2. Psalm 19:2, Hebrews 1:10
  3. Luke 16:1-8
  4. Genesis 2:15
  5. Revelation 21:1, Revelation 21:4


  1. Which Bible verse about sustainability do I find particularly appealing and provides guidance for what working sustainably means (to me)?
  2. To what extent do I agree with the above summary of what working sustainably means?
  3. Are there any missing elements in the above list of what working sustainably means? If so, which ones?
  4. How would I personally describe what working sustainably means for Christians?
  5. How would I describe concretely what working sustainably means for me?
  6. To what extent do I subscribe to the idea that sustainability is an important characteristic/virtue for Christians in their work?
  7. To what extent do I subscribe to the idea that sustainability is an important guideline/principle for the behavior of Christians in their work?
  8. To what extent is sustainability an important virtue and principle for me in my work?
  9. How do I experience the importance of sustainability in my work?
  10. Do I work to bring about sustainability? Do I do so wholeheartedly?
  11. To what extent can I work sustainably in my work?
  12. How often have I recently brought sustainability to my work?
  13. How sustainably do I do my work? How does it show?
  14. To what extent do I use sustainability as a principle for my behavior in my work? Could I illustrate this using the decisions I have recently made in my work?
  15. When I look back at my working life, could I say that I have increasingly become more sustainable in my behavior?
  16. To what extent do people I work with think I act sustainably in my work? What have they said to me about this?
  17. To what extent do I think God thinks I act sustainably in my work?
  18. How can I become and act more sustainably in my work? How would I do this concretely?
  19. Which elements of working sustainably am I going to bring more of in my next working day?
  20. What am I going to say in a prayer to God about working sustainably?
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