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  • Training in Righteousness

    Posted on May 27th, 2012 rhonda No comments

    All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness . . .

    2 Timothy 3:16

    An acquaintance introduced me to the Faith & Action Study Bible (New International Version).  Now, it’s the only Bible I read because it includes articles about how to put our faith into action to bring about justice in the world.  My phrase of the day is training in righteousness.  Just to give you an idea of some of the commentaries, I partially quoted “The 13 Shackles”, which is about poverty, below.  (I edited out some things just to keep this post relatively short.) Whether you agree or not, it’s at least thought provoking.

    The 13 Shackles

    “Poverty has more to do with relationships than resources, with power than possessions.  The fall resulted in alienation from God and distorted relationships, out of which arise oppression, conflict, apathy, isolation, prejudice, moral confusion, and the deprivations and hardships we call poverty.  Poverty occurs in three dimensions – relationships with God (spiritual), humanity (social), and the environment (physical).

    The gospel alone addresses the relationship issues that keep people shackled in poverty.  At least 13 specific shackles bind the poor:

    1. Power elites limit their options.
    2. Society’s mainstream views the poor as non-factors
    3. The community of the poor isolates them from the rest of society.
    4. Professional caregivers fail to genuinely love those they are hired to serve.
    5. The poor live in physical isolation from the rest of society.
    6. The poor live in areas vulnerable to natural disasters.
    7. The poor live in increasing dependence on an environment in decline.
    8. The poor are rendered physically weak by their living conditions.
    9. The poor are fed distorted interpretations of history by the powerful.

    10. The poor falsely believe there is no hope for meaningful change.

    11. The poor develop the habit of equating their identity with their poverty.

    12. The poor tolerate abuse because they think it’s normal.

    13. The poor are in bondage to rebellious spiritual forces.

    The Good News is that Jesus came to proclaim freedom and health to all people.  When we understand the gospel in its full breadth and all its dimension, we see that God has a plan to reverse the effects of the fall.  When put into practice by men and women of faith, it brings justice for the oppressed, healing for the weak, compassion for the needy, and reconciliation for the alienated.”

    Jayakumar Christian, author

    Country Director of World Vision India

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