The Common Good
Jimmy Carter suggests that “The common good is reached when we work together to improve the wellbeing of people in our society and the wider world. The rights of the individual to personal possessions and community resources must be balanced with the needs of the disadvantaged and dispossessed.” As Christian people, we must work together with others to overcome our differences for the sake of the common good. We must seek justice and peace for all, not just ourselves. We must work together with others on the complex yet everyday problems of life, seeking just solutions. Our aim should be to right wrongs and hold those in power accountable for their actions while seeking the benefit of the broader community.
John Calvin stated that “all [people] were created to busy themselves with the labour for the common good.” As God’s people seeking the common good, we are to put into practice Jesus’ command to “love your neighbour as yourself.” The difficulty is the fact that we live in a time when almost everyone is concerned with their rights. Yet, we need to balance our rights with responsibilities and our obligation as human beings to strive for the common good. We must be willing to make personal sacrifices for the good of all within society and indeed the whole world so that we as God’s people might be a blessing to the nations and a sign or a token of the coming of the kingdom of God in Jesus Christ.