“Stewardship starts with the principle that we first have to honor whatever we are charged with. Then we can think of ourselves. We have done just the opposite. We have tried first to have everything for ourselves and then have tried to correct the damage we’ve done to animals and to plants. It is not a good relationship. I think we must go back to the beginning and ask ourselves as western people, what did we trust, what gods did we decide to follow, where does the real point of happiness lie in our lives?…we have the promise of our Saviour himself that in christian belief there is a power to replace that old faith [in building our happiness out of technique and economic growth]. It is not a power emerging from us, but one that has its fulfillment in his coming kingdom in which he will change our present world to restore justice. In that kingdom we will find Shalom dwelling immanently in our intercourse with him and with our neighbours. It will not be a product of our activitiy but will dwell there as something to be lived out of. It is up to us to expect that kingdom and to erect a signpost of that kingdom in our present society” (brackets and emphasis mine).
Bob Goudzwaard, Aid for the Overdeveloped West, p. 57-58.
We cannot build for ourselves Shalom or happiness. These do not come about through technological or economic progress (which damage our relationship with others and with creation itself). Rather, Shalom is something given by God, not as something that we work towards but rather as something that we work out of.
Our way of life in the Western/Northern world is a lie that we must abandon. Here, I think the Body of Christ must lead the way.