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Work and Faith

MOST OF US ARE NOT PAID to do ministry. But the place where Christians are paid is meant to be our place for bringing God’s presence. The main point of our jobs is not to have a career or to be paid well or to get a promotion or even to be productive, though all of those have value. The main point of our jobs is to give us a place to be earth-keepers for God.

A Christian man gave oversight to several large car dealerships. Salesman, typically, were given a fair bit of latitude in negotiating prices with buyers and he decided to do some research on that. He discovered that white males got the best buys from his salesman, white women paid more, and black women paid the most because they did not know how, or did not have the confidence to negotiate. He felt that this was not just and so he changed the rules. He informed his salesman that they would have less leeway in their negotiations so that pricing would reflect principles of justice. He was not sure how this would affect the company but was confident that God’s way would be best for everyone in the end.

If Christians live out their faith in the market place it will have an effect on society as a whole. If Christian business owners, for example, are taking as much profit from their companies as are nonChristians they are probably taking too much. The world follows the policy “look out for #1” (which is myself) and that usually results in less for others. Christian business owners would take less so that employees might have more or customers might pay less for their product or service. It is simply doing for others what you would have them do for you. Many years ago I worked for a Christian landscaper. My neighbour had lost his job with Via Rail and so took up a landscaping job with someone else. He felt his minimum wage of $7.50 was pretty tough to live on and asked me what I was getting paid. When he expressed surprise that I was being paid $12.50 an hour I explained that my boss was a Christian and was trying to do what Jesus would do. We are placed in our places of work so that we might bring Christ’s presence there and that gives work the greatest meaning.

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