It is a good thing for Christians to pursue purity when it comes to doctrine. However, one Christian philosopher says there must be more. Francis Schafer says, “Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.” His words are reminiscent of the powerful phrase penned by the New Testament writer James, “faith without works is dead.”
But what should these works look like? The Old Testament concept of shalom provides a helpful understanding. The word shalom is often translated peace, but scholars say that this peace is much more than the absence of war.
Pastor and author Tim Keller says, “Shalom means to sacrificially thread, lace, and press your time, goods, power, and resources into the lives and needs of others.” Kentucky author Wendell Berry says, “Do for those downstream as you’d have those upstream do for you.” Let’s put our faith in action by knowing what we believe and loving others as Jesus commanded.