“What does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
We only have one planet for humanity to live on. We have to share its resources. The general command to “love our neighbor” implies that we should not live in luxury at other people’s expense — be it our literal neighbor, our global neighbor or future generations. Our choices should not contribute to (global) injustice, but to righteousness.
In the book of Ezekiel, God strongly rebukes Israel’s leaders who not only take the best resources for themselves, but also ruin what is left for the rest of the people. He compares them to rams and male goats and asks, “Must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet?” (Ezekiel 34:19).
Millions of people live in poverty. In many countries, the quality of life is severely impacted by environmental degradation due to human consumption patterns — which is especially problematic for the most poor and vulnerable. We can’t save the planet. But we are responsible for the choices we make and the impact we have on other people and on our natural environment.
Are you aware that your lifestyle impacts others? How can you contribute to “justice and kindness” in this respect?