One of our most basic stewardship responsibilities is to our fellow human beings in need. In fulfilling this responsibility, it’s not enough to care, not enough to “do something, anything!” We need to care effectively lest our attempts to help do more harm than good.

We also need to avoid turning this work over to distant government bureaucracies, not only because the work is the church’s God-given responsibility but also because government attempts to help the poor are often highly ineffective, both domestically and internationally.

This third lesson in the series introduces the principle of subsidiarity, the idea that family members, neighbors, fellow church members—those closest to a problem—are usually best equipped to provide effective compassion.

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