There, I said it.
When broken humans practice economics, selfishness takes over. That’s why communism fails. The people in power abuse it. It’s why capitalism fails. The people in power abuse it and the disadvantaged are left in poverty.
Bread lines take hours to get through because of red tape or corrupt selfishness. People go hungry.
CEOs look out for number one and millions lose jobs. People go hungry.
There’s something sacred about working hard, putting your sweat and blood into what you do. While the ground was cursed because of sin entering the world, God still created work for us to do because it gives us meaning. Work gives us purpose. A reason to get off our lazy cans and do something meaningful. Work even helps build the Kingdom of God.
When work is taken away from us or cheapened because of how little someone is paid, our self-esteem is attacked. How many people in the unemployment lines or those getting abused in the fields are super chipper when you bring up their work situation? Unless the joy of the LORD saturates their soul, it has a negative effect.
Think advocating for fair wages and workers rights isn’t something a disciple of Jesus should care about? Check out what Scripture has to say. It’s peppered with commands to pay workers what they are owed–foreign AND domestic.
Detractors will say that an entire economic overhaul would need to happen. “It could never work.” “Communism is proven to be a bad system and capitalism is the best thing out there, even if it’s not perfect.”
YES! That’s exactly right. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God would and should look different than the world. He said some pretty extreme things about money and our use of it, mostly that it should never rule over us. This should not surprise us, coming from the rabbi who talked about carrying your cross to be His disciple. He doesn’t really say popular things. When it comes to money, we seem to be defensive. “For the love of money is the root of all sorts of evils….”
Let’s start brainstorming this economic thing together, in community.
As Rethink Church wonderfully said, “There is lots of darkness in the world. We don’t have to look far to hear about the vulnerable being exploited, minimum wage earners fighting for a living wage, environmental degradation, and abuse of power.”
Well put, friends at Rethink Church. It’s time for Christ followers to raise our voice, without yelling, and point out the needs our brothers and sisters have. If that comes at costing us our desired standard of living, maybe we need to revisit Jesus’ teachings again. We cannot call Him LORD without putting His teachings into practice (said the white, middle class male sitting in a comfy chair).
“You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord, so live your life as children of light. Light produces fruit that consists of every sort of goodness, justice, and truth. Therefore, test everything to see what’s pleasing to the Lord, and don’t participate in the unfruitful actions of darkness.” –Ephesians 5:8-11, Common English Bible
May your economic practices produce fruit that consists of every sort of goodness, justice, and truth.
Shout out to Julia Fleenor who speaks into my comfort more than she realizes and inspired this post for me.
My friends and I are posting during Lent again. In the words of Bones, “I guess crazy sticks together.” Lent has forty days and we’ll be answering ten questions each week. See what the others have said: