STEWARDS OF COMMUNITY
There's an old proverb which says, “Live simply so that others may simply live.” It speaks to the heart of what being a steward of community is all about. It means that I will sacrifice from my abundance so that the needs of others will be met without unnecessary suffering. Shane Claiborne, founding member of The Simple Way, says in his book The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical, “When we talk of materialism and simplicity, we must always begin with love for God and neighbor, otherwise we’re operating out of little more than legalistic, guilt-ridden self-righteousness.”
Becoming stewards of our global community begins by loving Christ as He loves us, and others as we love ourselves. True community is built only through love for one another."
Becoming stewards of our global community begins by loving Christ as He loves us, and others as we love ourselves. True community is built only through love for one another. When love enters the equation between people, there is no shortage of giving and self-sacrificing for the betterment of the other. Ellen White, in her book Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, p.127, speaks profoundly on the role of a Christian in society:
“A religion that leads men to place a low estimate upon human beings, who Christ has esteemed of such value as to give Himself for them; a religion that would lead us to be careless of human needs, sufferings or rights, is a spurious religion. In slighting the claims of the poor, the suffering and the sinful, we are proving ourselves traitors to Christ. It is because men take upon themselves the name of Christ, while in life they deny His character, that Christianity has so little power in the world.”
Good stewards of their community make sure that everyone within their reach is doing well. They look after and care for the needs of each other, building on what Jesus said in Luke 6:31: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” The principle of good stewardship also goes hand-in-hand with the second greatest commandment Christ ever gave His followers: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39).
We believe that Jesus didn’t mean to limit our caring to just our immediate community, but that He was referencing our global community of neighbors as well."
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), seeks to live by these principles of godly stewardship in our community. We believe that Jesus didn’t mean to limit our caring to just our immediate community, but that He was referencing our global community of neighbors as well. In South Sudan, ADRA is seeking to be a good steward of resources by providing food, education, and other necessities, to as many of the internally displaced people affected by the fighting and famine there as they can.
ADRA Nigeria has begun working with 744 internally displaced peoples who have been affected by violence the Boko Haram fundamentalist group has unleashed across North-Eastern Nigeria.
What will you do today, to “live simply by choice, so that others can simply live?” Are you willing to sacrifice for your global community out of love for your fellow humankind? Let us not be the Christians that A. W. Tozer talks about, who would rather pray for someone than do anything to meet their needs. Instead, let’s fulfill God’s call to be good stewards of community and “step up” to provide for the needs of those around us, whether it is our neighbor next door, or our neighbor in South Sudan.