We affirm that human flourishing is not proportional to our appropriation and consumption of the creation but directly related to our relationship with the Creator.
However, Western people (including Christians) often live as though affluence is the only path to flourishing, then we wonder why many of us are so discontented.
To overcome this, let us listen to our brothers and sisters in the Majority World by building into every short term ‘mission’ trip a programme of humble listening to those who know how to flourish by being in Christ but not in affluence.
My wife and I lived as cross cultural missionaries in East Africa for six years, some twenty five years ago. There we knew some magnificent Christian people from whom we learned how to flourish, even in relative poverty. Short term mission trips these days, go to do good with warm but, too often, paternalistic hearts, so do not listen to people whose lifestyles are much closer to those of Jesus and his earliest followers. In 1 Cor.12, Paul clearly says that we all need each other –we in the west need to learn from the worldwide church, how to live in Christ, simply and at peace.