William Booth once uttered the statement to his granddaughter who was simply looking for her grandfather's approval for hard work done well. I've often wondered what resulted from that statement - did she go out and do better? Or did she curl up in a corner and give up? Because she had the blood of Booth, I doubt very much that she gave up - the fact that there are Salvationists around the world striving to make the world a better place tells me that the challenge was accepted.
In our home, we play a small part in helping the cause of justice in the world. Aside from our lives as officers, we encourage our children to live out Micah 6:8, "...to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with [their] God." One of the specific ways that we encourage this is by utilizing a tsedaqah box. This box is meant to collect alms for the poor according to Rabbinical doctrine. In our home, we take a slightly different angle. We decide upon what purchases are necessary for life - basic groceries, clothing needs and school supplies. Anything extra gets "taxed" as it were. Five percent of the total cost of the extra purchase goes into the tsedaqah box. We've been doing this for a couple of years now and our meager efforts have provided Christmas toys for children in Belize and a few items at Just Gifts.
Although this practice has given our children a new understanding of justice and equality in the world, I can't help but think of Booth's words every time I look at the tsedaqah box on our kitchen counter. What else should we be doing? How could we engage our family in the justice issues facing the world on a more personal level? There are so many opportunities to do something, but care has to be taken to avoid the cosmetic, surface level activity. I truly believe that we need to be raising up future generations to have justice at the forefront of their thinking rather than a consumer-driven mentality.