Opinion  |  

Reset the agenda

A rallying cry for justice and advocacy

I am excited and honoured to have been seconded – with World Vision’s blessing – to my additional role as Executive Director of Micah Australia.

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We are called to embrace all three requirements – justice, mercy and humility. The secular world’s idea of justice seems quite different.

Joining me in this mission to advocate in the political, public and Christian spheres for justice and a world free from poverty is my former World Vision colleague Matt Darvas as Campaign Director of Micah. We share Micah’s vision to gather, inspire and empower Australian Christians as advocates, to share God’s heart for justice and raise a powerful voice with and for people in poor communities around the world.

There is no more direct call to action in Scripture than this powerful verse in the Old Testament, Micah 6:8: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

We need to see our relationships with others as they really are – raw, wild and life-giving.

We are called to embrace all three requirements – justice, mercy and humility. The secular world’s idea of justice seems quite different.

When I observe some of secular Australia’s lack of thought over the plight of refugees, famine and genocide, some of the millennials’ obsession with taking selfies, and older Australians with more concern for house prices than homelessness, I am reminded that walking humbly with God is the way the world is meant to be ordered. It’s about God on the throne, not self on the throne. Displacing God is the definition of sin and moral failure. The great sin is displacing our relationship with God on the throne.

The true meaning of our lives does not derive from wealth, power,  indulgence or religiosity, but from living fully in the moment and risking the pain of giving ourselves to what really matters – understanding that we are loved creations and that we must care
for others.

I believe all human beings are wired for collaboration, connection, empathy and generosity. We need to see our relationships with others as they really are – raw, wild and life-giving. The message of Micah has never been more relevant than it is today. Many Christians are hungry for an agenda worthy of their commitment, energy and God-given gifts. It is Christians, especially Christian leaders, who must set the tone of compassion.

Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved. And Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken. He was radical and his followers should be too.

Jesus says that so long as ordinary people stand up for right and do not retreat before those who seem to have more power, righteousness will prevail.

Tim Costello is chief advocate of World Vision Australia.

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