Reading 

Mark 12:30-31 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your life, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’ 

Reflection 

Love is a verb, or as my English teacher used to say, it is a “doing” word. It is not limited to an attitude or a feeling. It entails action (1 Cor 13:4-7). The greatest commandment, according to Jesus is to love God with every aspect of our lives, and love those whom God loves, namely, the world, or in other terms, our local and global neighbours. But what does it mean to love neighbour who is so far away from us? Why should we care about other people? And what does love have to do with consumption?  

The reason we must love our neighbours is that Jesus instructed us to. That should be enough reason, but here is another reason: The inherent dignity of human life. Three passages in Genesis 1:26-28, Psalm 8:3-5 and 139:13-14 articulate this vision. Rather than locating our inherent dignity in any capacity or property of a human being, these passages indicate that humanity’s dignity is located in relationship to God who ascribes and declares humanity’s worth because He created them. That is why we are to love our neighbours, because God loves them and has created them for communion with himself, with his creatures and with his creation. Jesus calls us to love people indiscriminately in a way that is consistent with his own care and concern for them.  Love is the consistent commitment to act for the well-being and benefit of others.  

How does this relate to consumption? Very closely in fact. To love our neighbours and reflect on our consumption is to think how our purchases are affecting other people. For example, do we dig deep and ask the hard questions about where our stuff comes from? The people in supply chains are often vulnerable and unable to speak up for themselves. For example, we could ask ourselves; does the brand who produced my merchandise or clothing know where it was made? Does the brand actively work to stop gender discrimination in their supply chain? Are the workers paid a fair wage and do they work in sustainable and healthy environments? Concerning clothing and fashion many answers to these questions can be found in the Ethical Fashion Guide, or, of course, by doing some digging of your own. The guide has been carefully put together to give you solid facts on which brands can show they are doing their bit to look after the people in their supply and the planet, and which brands can’t demonstrate this. Loving our neighbours means caring about how our actions might affect people, even if they live in a different country and feel quite distant. By doing research on the fashion and merchandise we buy, and how they look after people, we can use our purchasing power in a manner that shows love for our global neighbours.  

Prayer 

God help us to demonstrate our love for our neighbours by using our purchasing power responsibly. Give us wisdom and insight as we reflect on supply chains and various products that we consume so that we can put our faith into action. Give us grace and strength to make this a habit in our purchasing practices.  

Questions 

How does my purchasing power demonstrate love for my neighbour?  

What practices and habits can you form that will help you to reflect on this? 


Recent posts

Human Trafficking in NZ: Hidden in Plain Sight

Human Trafficking in NZ: Hidden in Plain Sight

Friday, 22 January 2021 — Keith Ramsay

Often victims of human trafficking go unnoticed, and even the things we buy have a story of human misery behind them. During Human Trafficking awareness month (January), we wanted to alert you to how you can make a difference in New Zealand for modern slaves overseas, and how to identify those being exploited here in New Zealand.

 

Read more

How can you pray for those affected by Covid-19?

How can you pray for those affected by Covid-19?

Monday, 18 January 2021 — Compassion International

Whether you pray on your own or with a group, the prayers of God’s people are powerful! But sometimes, what we’re praying for seems so out of reach, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Here are 10 prayer points to get you started.

 

Read more

Our 10 favourite moments with sponsored children that’ll make you smile!

Our 10 favourite moments with sponsored children that’ll make you smile!

Wednesday, 13 January 2021 — Compassion International

2020 will be remembered as the year the world stood still. With pandemic lockdowns, quarantines and facemasks—Covid-19 was on everyone’s lips. It was a year of heartache, pain, frustration and anxiety. But to start 2021, we want to share with you 10 sweet, funny and beautiful moments featuring sponsored children from around the world.

 

Read more

What you need to know about our partners part 4: Farming and Enterprise

What you need to know about our partners part 4: Farming and Enterprise

Tuesday, 22 December 2020 — Kevin Riddell

Although I was born and bred in New Zealand, for nearly all of my adult life I have lived and worked in conflict or disaster zones, around the globe. Most people living in the world today have little control of their future. I think this is both unfair and an injustice. I believe I have a responsibility to offer a hand of support to those in need. But not to just feed them for a day, but to offer long-term support.


 

Read more

Looking for a meaningful gift this Christmas? We can help with that!

Looking for a meaningful gift this Christmas? We can help with that!

Tuesday, 15 December 2020 — Kate Kardol

Tearfund's annual feel-good gift guide—Gift for Life—is chock-full of impactful gift ideas, sure to touch every heart this Christmas. Here's our five most popular gifts!


 

Read more

Faith, Love and Hope Amidst COVID-19

Faith, Love and Hope Amidst COVID-19

Friday, 11 December 2020 — Sean du Toit

The world seems different. The world is different. Various, organisations and communities have had to quickly adapt to various situations changing so fast our plans seem to be in constant flux. And yet, amidst all the uncertainty and chaos, these three remain: faith, love and hope.  

 

Read more

From gang leader to teen preacher

From gang leader to teen preacher

Friday, 04 December 2020 — Compassion International

Oscar’s life had a rough start. He was abandoned by his parents at a young age and was left alone most days with his uncles, who didn’t feed him. He started to get angry and aggressive and when he grew older, he formed a gang with his friends and began stealing. But something happened that turned his life on its head. 


 

Read more

Show more