I’ve decided this is the year for me to get on the “going green” bandwagon. It hasn’t been easy to make the changes necessary to go green. My wife thinks I’m crazy for the extreme measures I’m trying to take in our house to make this shift.

I’m a true man, thinking that this shift is easy and takes no sacrifice on our part, but apparently I’m wrong. Even the little changes have been difficult, like trying to remember to actually use the reusable grocery bags that we have. These bags always seem to make it to our cars, but never seem to make it into the store. Then we get home with our plastic bags and are just dumbfounded at how we could have forgotten to take the reusable ones in.

All these changes we’re making in our household have made me begin to think about what it would mean to go green in our spiritual lives. I do have to make a confession though: It’s actually my wife who came up with this concept, so I can’t take all the credit. To go green spiritually will take some sacrifice, too, the first of which is the recycling of our minds.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Recycling has been something I’ve been pretty excited about doing at home, because I feel like it will truly reduce the amount of waste we produce. And every time I drink a bottle of water I think about what the process is for the recycling of that bottle. It goes to a sorting station, where it is sorted based on the type of plastic it is. Then it goes to a refinery, where it’s melted down and made into something new. Each time plastic bottles are recycled they’re made into a new product, something with a new purpose and direction for its life.

This thought of recycling and the process that a bottle goes through can be used to describe our minds as well. There’s so much junk that builds up in our minds, so many things that are meant for the trash, but God is asking us not to throw it out, but allow him to recycle it into something he can use. He’s asking to change us, to refine us, to make us more and more into what he created us to be. We must be willing to go through that refining process, and that will take sacrifice. Is the sacrifice worth the rewards? Are you willing to go green this year?

Adam Short is a youth pastor in Richmond, VA. Adam has a wife and twin girls who are going into middle school. His heart is to meet students where they are and help them navigate the culture that they are living in.

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