Monday, January 28, 2008

Greed and grace

Have you ever noticed what poor businessmen God expected the Israelites to be? The Lord told them not to harvest the corners of their fields or to pick up the fruits and vegetables that fell on the ground (Lev. 19:9-10). That’s not the way to maximize profits, especially in the days before tractors and combines. The owner’s put his own money and sweat into that field. He’s taken the risk—why let someone else reap the fruit?

It’s the difference between greed and grace. One’s the way of business; the other’s the way of God.

(c) Copyright 2008, A. Milton Stanley

13 comments:

NaNcY said...

yes, the way of business can be avery cunning mask for greed to make its way into many things.

Milton Stanley said...

Amen. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

jeff said...

Grace is a great concept when shown to me, it's kind of a bummer when I have to show it to others. Especially if there is a real, immediate, obvious cost. But if you can't show grace to others it shows you haven't had it shown to you (Matthew 18:21-end). Ouch.

Milton Stanley said...

You got that exactly right.

John Kuvakas said...

Think, for a moment, what happens when we allow a business like approach to impact our Ecclesiology. The same greed that affects our private lives now permeates our Body Life and we become outcome oriented, goal driven and number focused.

Worse yet, everything we do has to reap a measurable benefit. There's no sacrifice, no spiritual orientation, no eternal investment. This is why I rail at corporate mentality in the church. This is not our 'purpose'. Our purpose is to empty ourselves, individually adn corporately, for the sake of the Gospel.

Milton Stanley said...

Amen. Thanks for adding substantially to the discussion.

Graham said...

I think I might nuance your interpretation to say that God did not expect His people to be poor businessmen; instead He expected them to be better businessmen than those who maximized profit. He defines good business in terms of justice and mercy, and not in terms of maximizing profit.

[I posted a longer treatment of the same issues in Loving by Lending.]

Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for the comments and the link.

Graham said...

And thank you for pushing away from greed, toward grace.

Fred Peatross said...

Thourgh the years America has capitulated to an ethical egoism ethic and Christianity, unfortunately, has a formed a close relationship with what has slowly become the American Dream— individualism and consumerism? Fred @ Abductive Columns

Milton Stanley said...

Amen, Fred. Thanks for contributing to the discussion. Peace.

NaNcY said...

just passing along a good post.

http://xtheroad.blogspot.com/2008/02/love-triangle-taking-responsibility.html

actually one of three

Milton Stanley said...

Thanks, Nancy. I look forward to reading it.