But if you try sometime you find You get what you need.
-Keith Richards/Mick Jagger
“It’s not about you,” begins Rick Warren’s famous The Purpose Driven Life. Though we have talked about God being a God of abundance, we also know we live in a reality of a physical existence. The earth has limits. Yes God does provide, but we have to realize a respect for His creation. Richard Lowery, of the Center for Faith and Giving, defines Sabbath Economics as follows (emphasis mine):
…a way of living in the world that starts from the assumption that it’s possible for everyone to have enough to thrive. Scarcity and poverty are not ‘the will of God.’ They are failures of human imagination, departures from the dream God has for the world. Sabbath economics assumes that everyone can have enough. It is grounded in a conscious choice to place limits on our own work and consumption.
Ched Meyers, who we believe is the first person to use the term Sabbath Economics, partly defines the term by stating “that human communities restrain their appetites and live within limits.” To be good stewards, we need to be aware not only of the economic impact, but also the physical impact, we have on this gift we call the Earth.
As a native born Texan, I have to admit that I have not given much thought to some of the “greener” issues. Yet as Christians, we are stewards of God’s creation (Genesis 2:15). We are exhausting this planet’s resources. “God always forgives, but the earth does not.”  We inhabit this planet with others, many not as fortunate. Our conservation efforts can, and should, be a reflection of our love for others and God.
In his book, No God, No Science?, Michael Hanby makes the point that not only did God create the earth, but by His very nature He continues to create. We can and should be participants. Maybe the first part, the hardest part of this covenant, is a change of attitude. Maybe we need to fully realize that not only are men and women God’s creation, but so is the earth and all of its living creatures ((Matthew 6:26). Francis of Assisi treated all of nature as a gift of God deserving of awe and wonder. Maybe it is impossible to be in communion with God without a respect for the environment.
Of all of the covenants, this one requires others. Nobody can change the environment by himself. Relationships are engendered as we attempt to care for this gift we call Earth.
Today’s global economy has been shaped by market forces, not by the principles of ecology. Unfortunately, by failing to reflect the full costs of goods and services, the market provides misleading information to economic decision makers at all levels. This has created a distorted economy that is out of sync with the earth’s eco-system-an economy that is destroying its natural support systems.
As indicated above, I have the most trouble with this covenant. God has provided the earth and its resources that will provide my needs, but not necessarily my wants. My hope is that we can work together to better care for this world. Will you enter into a conversation with us on this critical matter?
 Kinsler, Ross and Gloria, Jubilee Workbook #7 as reported in Ham’s Reading the Bible Economically