What is our duty towards the world?

Mission Lab

As Christians, we must help men to solve their problems as much as possible. We show our love for God by loving our neighbors—the people around us.

Love for our neighbor makes us do all we can to help those who need our assistance and to make the world better. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, 16).

As Christians, we must take an active part in all aspects of temporal life—economic, political, and social, for we and our fellow men are in fact the authors, center, and goal of this life. Concretely, this participation includes working to make sure that the goods God has created for everyone do in fact reach everyone, both now and in the future, as justice and charity require.

Closely connected with this obligation is the people’s right to information based on truth, freedom, and justice. Without it, citizens cannot rightly fulfill their duties. Christians, therefore, need to be involved in the work of gathering, evaluating, commenting on, and disseminating this information. Similarly they need to be involved in the entertainment industry and in the use of the social communications media.

In all this, justice and charity require us to practice moderation and discipline, so that society is not undermined by false, useless, and evil talk, or the needless publication of scandalous information. Our rule and guide must be the words of Paul to the Ephesians: “Guard against foul talk; let your words be for the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners, otherwise you will only be grieving the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with his seal for you to be set free when the day comes. Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, or raise your voice to anyone, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness. Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ” (Eph 4:29–32, The New Jerusalem Bible).