From Surviving to Thriving

By Winston Hottman

What can you do to fight poverty in your community? In a recent article Jennifer Marshall, director of domestic policy at the Heritage Foundation, explains how the gospel creates the framework for a holistic approach to addressing the problem, an approach that looks beyond handouts to full human flourishing:

Truly effective compassion means striving for human flourishing and seeking the conditions that make it possible. The good news is that the good news has equipped the church for the kind of relational restoration of individuals and communities that is so urgently needed for fighting poverty in America today.

Seeking holistic thriving helps us keep the created dignity of those we serve at the heart of our efforts—while also keeping us in touch with our own needs in these spheres. In our pursuit of flourishing, we need to consider how appropriate roles for marriage and family, church, business, and government—not to mention personal responsibility—can help prevent and overcome poverty. Effective compassion draws on all these roles and calls for right relationships among them.

As Marshall states elsewhere in the article, poverty is ultimately rooted in our broken relationships with God and with one another. True human flourishing begins with the restoration of these relationships. If this is true, then we as Christians have an integral role in the war on poverty since we not only seek to meet physical needs but also minister the good news of our reconciliation in Christ to the people of our communities.

Check out the rest of the article here.

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