God has called us to serve in a variety of callings — such as family, church and work. Yet another calling that we often neglect is our calling to be a citizen of multiple communities — town, state, national and global communities.
Even in a democratic republic, where we have a maximal opportunity to help shape our communities toward Christ, we sometimes don’t take advantage of that opportunity. There are many ways that we might miss the opportunity to be responsible Christian citizens. We might err by not taking seriously the responsibility to have an informed and distinctively Christian view on important social and political issues. We might sin by shying away from speaking out about issues when we are in the minority, or, alternatively, by giving our opinions about issues in a disrespectful, unfair, or uncharitable manner. So there are many ways to forsake this responsibility.
On the flipside, the fact that God has placed each of us in certain communities provides an awesome responsibility to witness and obey. Here are three simple ways you can love your communities:
1. Faithfully serve your family, church and work.
We can love our communities by faithfully fulfilling our calling to our families, churches and workplaces. These institutions (family, church, workplace) are the ones that undergird a community and make it a viable place for people to live and flourish.
2. Be active in your community.
We can love our communities by being active in certain other nongovernmental sectors. We can serve our community’s schools and non-profit organizations. We can help shape public opinion about important issues by engaging in neighborhood and coffee-shop conversations or by writing in newspapers or blogs, and by doing so in a manner shaped by Christian love and conviction.
3. Don’t be afraid of politics.
We can love our community by being actively involved in the political process in ways that reflect true Christian conviction and Christian love.
What other ways can you love your community?
This post is a modified excerpt of Dr. Ashford’s new book, Every Square Inch.
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