Love the Earth – unselfishly

As the 26th UN Climate Change Conference begins this week with the goal of accelerating action toward tackling climate change, we can all consider an important question: What can each of us do – practically and prayerfully – to help the Earth?

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
Loading the player...

It was just a chewing gum wrapper. But after I mindlessly tossed it into beautiful Lake Minnetonka when I was on a boat ride with friends, I felt a twinge of guilt: “What if everyone threw their gum wrappers into the lake?”

That experience from my teenage years comes back to me when I think of the UN Climate Change Conference currently taking place. Governments are discussing how the world’s inhabitants can work individually and together to address the urgent need to reverse how human actions have increasingly changed the Earth and its atmosphere, seemingly with destructive results: more hurricanes, spreading wildfires, excessive flooding, and so on.

But what can one person do?

When I tossed that wrapper into the lake, it was only a tiny microcosm of the much bigger problems of abuse facing the Earth. But the twinge of guilt I felt offers insight into where change needs to start – with our own thinking. We need to think before we act.

The Earth is not humanity’s personal possession to use as we please for personal gain. And the Bible points out that “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalms 24:1). We have the God-given responsibility to care for and “replenish the earth” (see Genesis 1:27, 28).

To achieve this means gaining a higher perspective of creation as made by divine Spirit, God, in which all that God knows is spiritual and good, like Himself. By seeing “the earth ... and the fulness thereof” through this spiritual lens, we shed light on the divine goodness underlying all we see materially. This supports the emergence of ideas for how to help that take shape in practical ways. Living up to this loving responsibility is natural to who we truly are, because God is Love, and in our God-given identity we are actually divine Love’s spiritual image and likeness. By prayerfully listening for God’s guidance – loving God and yielding to His universal good will – you and I can contribute mightily to healing our planet and its atmosphere.

On this spiritual basis, each of us can adopt a conscientious, daily practice of listening for divine direction that helps us thoughtfully care for our planet – in everything we do in our personal lives, and in the broader scope of our activity in areas such as business, teaching, manufacture, construction, and government. As Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, once wrote: “The purpose and motive to live aright can be gained now. This point won, you have started as you should” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 326).

We carry out this unselfish purpose whenever we pause and examine our thinking, and bring it into accord with God’s universal good will – before we make decisions and act on them. Christ Jesus set the example for us. He said, “My judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30).

Yielding to God’s will cannot deprive us of any good. Thoughtfully and unselfishly caring for the Earth and its atmosphere can only result in greater blessings and increased safety for all humanity. Each of us can start right now to keep God’s limitless love at the forefront of our thoughts as we go about life on our planet. As we go about our daily lives, enter into community gatherings, and attend meetings, let’s prayerfully consider, and help others consider, decisions that will accelerate change for the better.

From the smallest to the largest decisions we make, it’s a good thing to selflessly listen for and follow God’s universal good will in order to lovingly care for the Earth.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Love the Earth – unselfishly
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today