Response to a Christian reader about his friends struggling with stewardship

November 4, 2021 by Joshua
in Nature, Nonjudgment

I’m sharing because after the email I sent below, I realized I’m approaching things differently. My friend, a practicing Christian, asked my thoughts:

I’m wondering what you think about their idea of people working more to join or form a community to take action, rather than guilting themselves into thinking they have to do everything on their own (drive an electric car, or no car at all, not use any packaging, eat vegan, etc.).

I responded

These posts aren’t exactly on what you asked about but may be relevant:

But if they feel guilt, the inner conflict seems greater. Their view of stewardship differs from mine. For me, it connects me to people, community, nature. I love it. I used to feel it was a burden and recognize even most environmentalists present it that way, but I have to work hard to empathize with preferring my comfort and convenience to others’ health.

What would you think of someone asking if people should guilt themselves into going to church? Wouldn’t you think they’re missing something? What do they prefer, partying? Gluttony? Not caring how they affect others?

If they enjoy flying, driving around, and filling landfills more than taking responsibility for their effects on others, I wouldn’t try to guilt them away from a better time. The flip side for me of knowing I’ll never see Machu Picchu is that I know my community and local natural wonders. Once I realize they’re the equal of any other, I experience more of what I searched elsewhere for, since it’s everywhere all the time when I choose to see, accept, and embrace it.

I hope I didn’t get too heavy.

He responded, “Not too heavy! Just needed some time to digest. :P”, so looks like it resonated or prompted reflection. He also said no problem to my posting the exchange.

Here’s an image from my series of images of cultural figures responding how we do to the environment. I enjoyed making that post.

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