“Am I honest? Can I be absolutely trusted in money matters? In my work? With other people’s reputations?”
Readers might be perplexed by self-examination questions 1 and 2 in Jones’ list. Am I truthful and Am I honest seem like different ways of asking the same question. Perhaps it would help to think of the first as a question about what we say and the second as a question about what we do.
It might also be helpful to look at one of the reference verses Jones gives for this section-- 2 Corinthians 8:21, “For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.” In this passage St. Paul is reassuring readers that his administration of the collection for Jerusalem is being done in an honorable manner.
Reflecting on question 2 hasn’t brought to mind anything from my past in need of confession. That might change after watching John Oliver criticize televangelists.
I wonder if I’ve done enough to warn vulnerable people about the scam that is the gospel of prosperity? Have I made it clear to others that prosperity preaching is a perversion of Christ’s teachings? Do I need to explain more often that Luke 6:38 (“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.") is not referring to money but to mercy?
I could certainly do more to connect the doctrine of perpetual growth to the broader issue of the suffering that is caused by climate change as Pope Francis did in “On Care for our Common Home.” In the aftermath of the devastation caused by extreme weather events, the Christian response should be to reduce not grow. Reduce society’s consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce dependence on nonrenewable sources of energy.
A survey of business leaders found that governments are not a driving force in sustainability initiatives. Instead it is pressure from customers that is convincing corporations to adopt sustainable business practices. The UN summit on climate change being held this year in Paris on November 30-December 11 will give governments a chance to stop lagging and start leading.
Am I a trustworthy steward of this planet? Now there’s an excellent self-examination question.