Act with love and justice, and always depend on him.
How would you respond if I said you can change the world simply by brushing your teeth and getting dressed?
It sounds too good to be true, but I’m not crazy.
One of the common threads running through the Bible is that God calls the ordinary to act on his behalf, and when he does extraordinary things happen. We see it in the history of David, Jonah, Mary, Samuel, Ruth and countless others.
We really shouldn’t be surprised that nothing’s changed – God still works in the same way, but sometimes it’s easy for us to forget.
I find I fall into two different mind-sets, depending on the situation: either I have an utter confidence in my ability to get things done, which brims over into arrogance, or I idly sit by and let someone more qualified do the things I could help with. It’s a common pattern.
But when I recently read Hosea 12:6, I saw something I so often overlook.
“Act with love and justice, and always depend on him”
I loved the simplicity of these instructions, but mostly I was struck by their co-dependency. They weren’t separated, but intertwined.
Act and depend.
That’s how we change the world. We need to know our strengths well enough to spot the opportunities to get involved, and we need to depend on God and know that we are acting on behalf of he who can do immeasurably more than we can think or imagine.
Anyway, back to dental hygiene.
Even the smallest of tasks, when we consciously act and depend on God, can have the biggest change. At We Are Tearfund, we pursue an end to extreme poverty. It’s within reach of our generation and if we keep pushing, we’ll realise our goal. Not only that, but we can beat extreme poverty through our everyday actions, standing up for what we believe in and making choices that have far more impact on our global neighbours than we’re aware of. If we’re intentional about how we live, we can change the world.
Take our use of plastic for example.
Almost every piece of plastic ever made still exists in some form. The problem is in its disposal. Two billion people living in poverty lack access to waste collection, meaning that much of this waste – including plastics – ends up being burned or dumped in places like rivers and oceans, creating a major health hazard. Uncollected waste increases the likelihood of diarrhoeal and infectious diseases, and toxic fumes from burning waste lead to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths a year.
So suddenly, when we swap out a plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one and use a refillable bottle rather than countless plastic ones, we are acting on behalf of those in need.
And then there’s our clothes.
There are many surprises and stories hidden within the clothing industry that we don’t know about; such as the impact our clothes have on the people who make them, and also on the earth through the way they’re made. Did you know it takes 2700 litres of water to make a single T-shirt? All of a sudden, we start to spot how the clothes we buy can change the lives of people we never see.
We all have a part to play in God’s story, and he calls us to take action. The first step is discovering your own role. You can take an interactive Facebook quiz that’ll give you one of 11 personas based on your personality type and a description of how to can help eradicate extreme poverty. It’s a great starting point for acting in love and justice – stepping out with the confidence that we’re guided by the Holy Spirit to see more of God’s Kingdom on earth.
This week swear off single-use plastic in favour of reusable or recyclable options.
We Are Tearfund
We are a generation who, together, can end extreme poverty. We believe a better world is possible. Where everyone can thrive and where an end to extreme poverty gets ever closer as we pursue justice. Alone, we can feel overwhelmed but together we are unstoppable. Join The Movement