Why I think recycling is Biblical

I am one of those people who will watch my roommates throw something into the trash and go behind them and move it to the recycling bin. The container for our trash is the same size as the one for our recycling, so to me, it just makes sense to at least recycle what we can, especially since for us, it’s actually convenient. All it requires is being aware, really.

To me though, recycling is more than just a logical thing. God gave mankind dominion over the earth to take care of it. We now have the technology to recycle and renew some resources, which helps preserve the environment and take care of what’s been given to us. To throw things away when we have the means to reuse them isn’t being a good steward.

But there’s another aspect that makes me think that recycling is Biblical. Throughout the Bible it’s made clear that God is a God who restores. Time after time Israel fails God, and instead of throwing them away, He seeks ways to bring them to restoration. While restoration is much more powerful than mere recycling, both are part of the same spectrum.

Whether or not you choose to recycle is your choice. Unless you live with me. Then you’ll probably get a lecture since I’ve gone out of my way to make it easier. But I know in some places, it’s not as convenient as it might be for me, and that’s okay. But if your only reason is lack of motivation, that’s not a good enough excuse.

Comfortable in my skin

Body shaming. It’s all over the media and in our culture because so many are fighting against it. We’re constantly bombarded with an unrealistic expectation of what our bodies should look like. As if we weren’t already insecure without all that. Unfortunately, it’s in our schools, starting from a young age.

I remember being in the sixth grade as a girl half my size (and possible anorexic) thought it was okay to call me fat. I wasn’t fat or overweight, but she felt the need to criticize my appearance to help her validate her own. Over ten years later, I finally see the truth. I’m healthy because I eat healthy and I exercise on a regular basis. I’m a healthy weight and size for my height, body type, and age. The same was true then, the same is true now.

But now I’m embracing it. My body isn’t like your body, but neither of our bodies are wrong, and that’s why we can learn to be comfortable in our skin. I have friends who are medically considered obese. That doesn’t mean there’s something “wrong” with their bodies, but there might be something wrong with their eating and exercise habits. Our bodies are merely responding to what we put in them and the stress we put on them.

The desire to be healthier and fitter and the state of being comfortable in my skin aren’t at odds with either other, but are actually two sides of the same coin. Back when I started making changes, I first had to embrace my body as it was in that moment and be comfortable enough to want to take care of it.

When opposites attract…

I’m just going to say it—we can sometimes be contradictory with our sayings and idioms. On one hand, we like to say, “Birds of a feather flock together,” as a way of labeling an entire group or to make assumptions based on who our friends are. Which can be completely true. On the other hand, we also like to say that opposites attract. Which is a scientific fact when we look at magnetism.

When it comes to relationships, I’ve seen both occur. I know people who are attracted to people who are just like them, people they have everything in common with. And yes, relationships need to have some similarities between people in order for them to work and have common ground in at least some areas. Sometimes, like attracts like.

But I know myself and others well enough to say that some of us are better off with someone who is our opposite. For instance, one of my roommates is the opposite of me in many areas, but we both learn and grow and challenge each other because of it. And from that, I know I’m better off marrying someone who is opposite of me. I need someone who is different so that I’m constantly challenged and changing.

So be careful when it comes to people who are exactly like you because they may not help you grow as a person. To have a healthy balance, we should have all different types of friends from all different seasons of life with a variety of personalities. The person who rubs you the wrong way might be exactly what you need in order to grow.

The lines I’ll never cross

We all have standards of some sort, whether it’s higher or lower in comparison to the standards of others. We all have those lines that we know we shouldn’t cross, but we cross them anyway and regret it later. I know lines that I’ve crossed that I never should have, and it takes more time to recover than it’s worth.

I was recently reminded about standards that God has set for us in the Bible. In some areas of life, we have to rely on the Holy Spirit to help us draw the lines, but there are others that God doesn’t leave up for debate. The problem is, most Christians have crossed over that line, into the land of “no return.” They give their approval and support to lifestyles that contradict what they say they believe.

There’s a big difference between showing the love of God and showing approval. I can love you without approving of the things you do that keep you bound and hold you back. We think by giving our approval, we’re being tolerant, but we’re not called to be tolerant in the world’s eyes. We’re called to love through God’s eyes.

Love wants God’s best for people. Love is willing to pray for people and fight for their freedom, even if they don’t know how to fight for themselves. Love sees how the power of God can bring life to those who are desperate and broken. Just because I love you doesn’t mean I agree. I agree with God’s Word, and that’s a line I’m not willing to cross.

Finishing what you start

I absolutely love starting new projects and ideas. Whenever I get inspiration for something, I want to work on it right away, getting it down on paper or canvas or whatever medium is required to bring life to the idea. I love new projects so much that I have a growing list of unfinished projects all over the place. Finishing something requires so much more perseverance than starting.

But half finished projects don’t really add anything to your life. You can’t release a half-written song or publish a half-written book. I think that’s one of the main things that sets apart amateurs from professionals. Amateurs have no problem starting things, but professionals have experience at completing and finishing. Professionals persevere until the end.

Finishing also requires having a goal in mind, not just wandering aimlessly. For instance, I’m less than 5,000 words away from completing my first novel. Friends, that is not an easy feat in the slightest. I can’t tell you how many hours of typing and research I’ve pushed through to get to this point, and the end is near.

It’s not good enough just to start things. This will be the first story that I’ve written to completion, and it’s a sign that I’ve finally stepped into who I’m called to be as a writer. When my friends and family get to read what I’ve poured months of my life into, I can say that I crossed the finish line.

Why you shouldn’t “act your age”

Typically when we use the phrase, “act your age,” it’s actually a passive-aggressive way of telling someone that their behavior is immature. And it might be. But what a 25 year old is like in my generation isn’t the same as someone who was 25 one or two generations ago. Our world, economy, and technology has changed us, and it’s both good and bad.

On one end of the spectrum, children are innocent. Unlike adults, they don’t live with the doubt that their parents won’t take care of them. At least, they shouldn’t have to. Jesus even tells us to have childlike faith, a faith that knows our Father is good and will only give us good things. He’s always going to take care of us.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are many adults of different ages who behave like adolescents. I have a few friends who are the same age that I am who behave as if they were a few years younger. There’s a lack of stability and maturity among people who should be adults. It’s far from a bad thing to actually act older than you are in this day and age.

It does all of us a disservice to tell others to act their age when what is considered “age appropriate” is constantly changing. Yes, we should be responsible and dependable people, but that doesn’t mean we should be bound by your arbitrary expectations. It’s God’s Word and God’s Spirit that will bring real maturity.

America and the illusion of freedom

I’m American. I was born here, raised here, and still live on American turf. I’ve seen both coasts and was born on one side. But I can also trace when my family moved to America, especially since I’m the first generation to be born here. I have parents who are now citizens who came here legally. And I can say that most Americans have no idea how fortunate they are to be here.

I do realize that there was once a time when someone like me, both a woman and a person of mixed ethnicities, wouldn’t have the rights that I have today. But having rights doesn’t make a person free. In the Kingdom of God, we have rights and authority as sons and daughters of the living God, yet most Christians aren’t living in freedom.

It’s one thing to have a say in your government, and it’s another thing to use it. Being able to vote is a right, but you actually have to register and vote in order to step into that freedom. The problem with America isn’t that we have too many rights (although there are some things that shouldn’t be legalized), but that so few of us actually live in freedom.

Too many of us are bound by our anxieties, fear, love of money, sickness, etc. Freedom isn’t a default, but it’s intentionality. I don’t live chained to depression because I know I’ve been set free, and I’ve chosen to live in freedom. And sometimes it’s a fight to stay free. I’m thankful to live in America because I do have rights, rights that when coupled with walking in freedom open the doors to change the world.