According to Tim Keller, and more importantly, according to the Bible, there are three levels of social justice.
- Relief – direct aid to meet immediate physical, material and economic needs.
- Development – training that is needed for an individual or community to move beyond dependency on relief into a condition of greater self-sufficiency.
- Reform – change in the conditions and social structures that aggravate or cause dependency.
I’m most familiar with the “relief” level through the efforts of The Salvation Army (disaster relief) and Good Will. But the people that provide development are all too often hidden from view. They deserve to be showcased. They need to be easily accessible.
Theological Seminary, Robert Duckworth targets at-risk, inner city youth and provides a wide range of life skills to equip them to meet life’s challenges successfully. For a moment, close your eyes and try to imagine what you would provide. Here’s what his non-profit organization provides:
- Male Responsibility
- Conflict Resolution Skills
- Decision Making Skills and Attitudes toward Consequences
- Abstinence Only Sex Education
- Career Planning
- Communication Skills
- Timeless Values
Since Robert graduated with a Masters Degree in Biblical Counseling, his next step is to provide low cost (perhaps free) counseling. Later, he plans to offer career mentorship, community re-entry programming, and prison ministry.
This is what can happen when one person pursues his vision and is led by God’s gifting and calling. We don’t all have that calling or gifting, but we can all support the good things he is doing. It’s a non-profit organizations, so your contributions are tax deductible. Even without that perk, we do well to follow the teaching of Jesus and give sacrificially to those who cannot repay us. That’s what grace is about. Kudos to Robert, who is “doing justice”
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?