A Moral and Ethical Dilemma

Usually, when I blog, I am giving my “output”. But today, like the robot “Johnny 5” in the comedy movie, Short Circuit, I am asking my readers to please send me some “input-input”!

My dilemma started last week after I had purchased some new clothes for Fall. Later on in the day, I had watched a documentary called “The True Cost” by filmmaker Andrew Morgan. It is a rather damning commentary on the cost to both the garment industry workers and the environment due to the practices of what is being called the “fast fashion” industry.

Like “fast food”, “fast fashion” is plentiful, cheap and apparently, disposable. Wages and working conditions – especially safety – are very poor for most garment industry workers. Environmental protection policies are either poor or completely lacking.

I felt very disturbed in my soul after watching the film. I immediately went to check the labels on the new clothes I had just purchased and found out that every piece, but one, was made in Bangladesh (which was featured in the film and which showed that working conditions are terrible)!

I immediately wanted to return all the clothes to the store but first I began doing some research online to try and find where I could find clothes that were not only morally and ethically produced but also affordable. After searching unsuccessfully for a couple of hours , I gave up!

Then I started to think about everything else that we buy and I realized that almost EVERYTHING we buy is manufactured in another country where working conditions and wages are poor!

My dilemma is as follows: as a Christian, what is our responsibility when it comes to purchasing?

Personally, I can not see where it is either feasible or affordable to make sure that everything we buy is ethically and morally manufactured.

I live in a small town and when it comes to shopping for clothes, I have a very limited choice of stores. My financial situation is also a major factor in what and where I can purchase items. I have discovered that even most “expensive” clothes are made in China or some such place. Any of the clothing, on the websites that I found, that MAY be morally and ethically made,  were also too expensive.

So where does that leave a Christian like me, who wants to do the right thing but who isn’t sure what, exactly, the “right thing” is and who isn’t sure she can afford to do it?

I would REALLY appreciate any comments, suggestions, advice or opinions on this subject.

Blessings

Here is a link for info. about the documentary “The True Cost”.

http://truecostmovie.com/

Ain’t No Superhero

“I am no Superman I have no reasons for you. I am no hero, oh that’s for sure.” (Where Are You Going by Dave Matthews)

Ever since I was a little girl I have had a desire to help people. When I was about 10  years old, I decided to start a club called “Big Hearts for a Better World”. My two sisters and a couple of my school friends were the members. Our first project in our attempt “to save the world” was a bike-a-thon to raise funds to give to the foster child that our public school was supporting. The pledge sheets were all  hand drawn and decorated. We canvassed our local neighborhood and then dutifully rode our bikes around and around and around the block until we had completed the correct distance. We thought that we were really doing something wonderful until we found out that one neighbor had complained that we were carrying out an unofficial fund-raising event. We were told by someone that we had to stop. Talk about someone raining on your parade! We were so disheartened that the club disbanded after we had donated the jar of loose coin we had collected.

I don’t know whether it is due to the fact that I am an eldest child, or that my mother raised me to be thoughtful of others, or that it is an inborn characteristic, or a combination of all three factors, but I have always had a desire, and, in fact, the need, to help, to “save”, others – and if it happens in a “dramatic” way – all the better!

Unfortunately, most of the time I feel like I am “helpless” or that my efforts have been “hurtful” rather than “helpful”. I feel like most of my efforts have been fruitless.

When I was a young teenager, I couldn’t stop my father from leaving us; I couldn’t stop my younger sisters having to go live with him; I couldn’t help my mother out of her despair.

In my first marriage, I couldn’t “save” my husband from doing things that I felt were very detrimental to his health and to that of our family.

As a loving parent, I couldn’t “save” my sons from making some very bad choices that had some serious repercussions to their health and life.

As a loving sister, I couldn’t “save” my sisters from the unhappiness in their marriages and the health problems that ensued.

As a loving daughter, I couldn’t “save” my Mom from poverty, severe illness, and loneliness.

As a loving sister-in-Christ, I couldn’t “save” unwise brothers and sisters-in-Christ from continuing to make the same harmful choices over and over again.

As a sincere Christian and loving child of God, I couldn’t “save” a couple of the churches I attended from going through painful and heartbreaking division.

As a lover of God’s creation, Nature, I have come to realize that my efforts to reduce, re-use, recycle, and conserve will not “save” this planet.

And in all the years that I have tried to share the gospel, I don’t know that I have brought even one person to salvation through Jesus Christ.

At times, this feeling of helplessness and uselessness has really dragged me down. But then God kind of gives my shoulders a good shake and then He asks me, “Who do you think you are?” And He is not meaning, who do I think I am in Christ Jesus, but rather, who do I think I am that I think that I can “save” the world?

The truth of the matter is that God did not create me to be Wonder Woman or any other super hero! I have had to realize that it is NOT my job to “save” the Earth, or even one single person. The task of bringing Mankind to salvation was given to God’s son, Jesus Christ. I could never carry through with what Jesus had to in order to “save” Man. No amount of “leaping over tall buildings” or being “faster than a speeding bullet” will accomplish what Jesus’ death on the cross did. I could never bear to go through the rejection, betrayal, torture, and painful death that Jesus did; never mind carry the burden and shame of ALL the sins of the world –  past, present and future  –  in my soul.

Nope – I ain’t no super hero and it isn’t my job to save the world. My job is to share the good news of the one and only TRUE super hero – the one and ONLY SAVIOR  – Jesus Christ. For it is only through the acceptance of, and faith in, who Jesus was and what he accomplished, that anyone can truly be saved.

Act 4:12 And there is salvation in no other One [but Jesus]; for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Rom 10:13 For everyone, “whoever shall call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

 

Heb 2:12 saying, “I will declare Your name to My brothers; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Recently, one of the young mom’s from my ladies’ fellowship group posted on Facebook, the following conversation with her child:

After bedtime prayer…

“Me: do you know that God is everywhere?!

Westy: yah, God get the bad guys. God smashes the bad guys and wrestles them. Bad guy no get Westy. God squishes them.

Me: He sure does!”

I absolutely loved her child’s response! Oh, that I would have such certainty of faith in God!

Mar 10:14-16 But when Jesus saw, He was much displeased and said to them, Allow the little children to come to Me and do not hinder them. For of such is the kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter into it. And taking them up in His arms, He put His hands on them and blessed them.

child praying: Illustration of a Little Boy Praying Before Going to Bed

I would  love to hear back from my readers, if they have any such stories to share. I would like to compile them into a book format.

Blessings