Some Christians may be wondering why we should care so much about people beyond their spiritual and eternal well-being. The truth is the Bible has a lot to say about how we treat people economically.
So how did God respond to economic injustice in the Bible? One example is Isaiah 58:3, “Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers.” He was telling the Israelites that He was rejecting their religious activities because they were creating oppressive conditions for their employees. He was displeased because they were not taking care of the natural needs of people and were instead being a burden to them.
In Matthew 21 we see Jesus use forceful action to throw out the corrupt merchants from the temple who were taking advantage of vulnerable people. He wasn't angry that they were doing business. He was angry that they were using their businesses to manipulate, cheat, and steal.
Let’s look at a few other scriptures that touch on this issue of economic injustice:
So if we go back to Isaiah 58, towards the end of the chapter God gives us a prescription for what pleases Him: loving people, taking care of their needs, feeding the hungry, lifting burdens, and protecting the innocent. When we do these things in our urban communities, with a critical focus on our young people, here is what the outcomes will be:
“And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:11-12
I believe this is a prophetic word for what can happen in our communities even today when we take on this mantle! Christians should be leading the way to defend the vulnerable and confront the powerful who prey on the weak. We have a God-given responsibility and authority to help whose who are taken advantage of economically by others. So let's get to work!
Time to Live Dangerously
“To live outside of God’s will puts us in danger; to live in His will makes us dangerous.”
~ Erwin McManus from An Unstoppable Force
Typically when someone is considered dangerous, it means they are likely to cause damage or danger to someone or something. In essence they are a threat to safety, order, and peace. As I think about it, I want to be an intentional threat, but not to safety, order, and peace. I want to be a threat to things that injure, defeat, oppress, and negatively impact lives, especially young people.
The world is full of people who play it safe. I don’t want to be one of them. I want to live my life on the edge. However, I’m not necessarily talking about “death-defying” activities, such as bungee jumping, skydiving, or wrestling wild animals (that’s for a different post). I’m talking about maximizing my full potential by utilizing my God-given abilities, talents, gifts, and resources to be a catalyst for life transformation.
I have learned over time that being a life transformation catalyst means that I must be willing to smash the status quo, i.e. standards that people and society have accepted that shouldn’t be. I can’t strive for a life of ease and comfort. I have to take risks, stretch my faith, strategically apply my giftedness, and reach out to people that others have rejected.
By living dangerously, I want to smash the status quo for youth and young adults in the areas of:
Fighting for Our Dependence
The 4th of July is a time when Americans celebrate our independence from an oppressive government more than 200 years ago. What's really interesting about the time we live in now is that millions of Americans are still fighting for their independence. However, in this case it's not from an oppressive government. They are actually fighting for their independence from the loving God. Watch the video to learn more…
What are your thoughts?
Salespeople are not evil. Marketers are not inherently deceitful. Brand strategists aren't all trying to get over on you.
The truth is you can succeed in business without being a jerk or manipulator. You can be the best salesperson without succumbing to the pressures of the marketplace to cut corners or take advantage of people. Watch the video below to hear some interesting perspectives that you may not have considered before as it relates to your sales, marketing, and branding activities...
Related article: Love Thy Customers and Other Radical Strategies to Grow a Flourishing Business
Leave your comments below...
People Over Profits
[This video was originally posted at QIdeas.org]
In this current business environment, more brands seem to be coming to the realization that focusing on being a good corporate citizen is more beneficial than trying to manage the risk of questionable or unscrupulous behavior. Dale Partridge, CEO and Co-Founder of Sevenly.org, questions whether a brand, in fact, can contribute to the common good.
Dale brings up some interesting points, but what I most agree with him on the fact that Christian business owners and leaders are best positioned to lead the marketplace forward through ethical, moral, and people-focused business practices.
RELATED: Grow Businesses. Create Jobs. Defeat Poverty.
What say you? Please leave your comments below...
There is no doubt the verdict from the Trayvon Martin case in Sanford, Florida has had a polarizing effect across this country. Many people in the black community and others feel a great injustice was wrought with the acquittal of George Zimmerman. In situations like these it's hard not to be emotional no matter which side of the result that you're on.
One thing for certain is that we still have a race relations problem in this country. And because this is true, we have to be as diligent and intentional as ever to see things from God's perspective in order to move forward in love, but also with the tools and strategies to root out injustice wherever it exists.
READ: How Your Purpose is Connected to Justice
"After the Verdict" will be a special broadcast of Passion in Action TV this Thursday at 7pm ET. We'll have a special panel comprised of communities leaders who'll be discussing how to help our communities move forward positively, especially related to our teens and young adults.
Leroy Barber has dedicated more than 20 years to eradicating poverty, confronting homelessness, restoring local neighborhoods, healing racism, and living what Dr. King called “the beloved community.” Leroy Barber is Global Executive Director of Word Made Flesh, an international organization that works among the most vulnerable of the world's poor. Rev. Barber is on the boards of Mission Year and the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). He is the author of New Neighbor: An Invitation to Join Beloved Community, and Everyday Missions: How Ordinary People Can Change the World. His third book, Red, Yellow, Black and White: Who’s More Precious In His Sight?, will be published this fall. Learn more at www.LeroyBarber.com.
Kenny Pugh is the author of Can You Do It Standing Up? A Different Position On Relationships, which is a compilation of insights targeted at helping people make healthy relationship decisions. As a media personality, life coach, and consultant, he has a passion for establishing, enhancing and restoring interpersonal relationships. He wishes to serve as a vessel of understanding in an era of disconnected, aimless, and broken relationships, and to soothe adversities of all forms, whether practical, relational, or spiritual. Kenny is host of the weekly radio show, Chat Kafe, and is a contributor to CNN and Black Enterprise Magazine. Learn more at www.KennyPugh.com.
Johnnie Porter is a professional chaplain, pastor, entrepreneur, community organizer and counselor. He consistently looks for solutions to empower people to live healthy spiritually, financially, physically, and emotionally. Johnnie has committed his life to serving in the community, mobilizing leaders, and helping those who are overlooked and underresourced. He is also the host of the online radio show Power Up with Johnnie Porter, which provides inspiration and information to help people create positive turning points in their lives.
READ: What About All the Other Trayvons?
Join us for the live stream on your computer or mobile device at 7pm ET only on www.passioninaction.tv.
There's a lot happening in our society and culture today that the enemy is using to keep us divided. Recently I did an interview with host Kenny Pugh on Brotha Live discussing some of the current headlines of today dealing with racism, sexism, classism and a bunch of other "isms." We have to be very careful when we base our connection with others on the ways that we are divided.
Click below to enjoy!
This week on Passion In Action TV we will interview Pastor J. Calvin Tibbs, author of the newly released "Massa's Back But Now He's Black?" In this thought-provoking book the author makes a call to the people of the United States to see the present climate of political dissatisfaction and racial antagonism as a modern expression of the master/slave mentality of America's past.
The author sees government-sponsored assistance programs as disguised vehicles by which the assisted trade their liberties for aid and laments the partisanship of both the political Right and Left as having superseded religion and common sense which, the author feels, has substituted popularity for substance and caused a sharp decline in morality and the economy.
Pastor Tibbs, a native of Hampton, VA, is currently pastor of Kingdom Dominion Church in Villa Rica, GA.
Money, Markets, and Morality
Many Christians struggle with their perception of money, which is one reason why they struggle with their acquisition of money. You could be struggling financially if you grew believing statements similar to:
Overall more Americans believe that Christian values are at odds with capitalism and the free market than believe they are compatible. This pattern also holds among Christians. Among Christians in the U.S., only 38% believe that capitalism and free market are consistent with Christian values while 46% believe the two are at odds.
(RELATED: What History Channel's The Bible Can Teach Christian Entrepreneurs)
I believe the markets are not inherently evil. However, when immoral people absent submission to and direction from God get involved with anything including the financial markets, misuse and abuse are bound to happen.
Read the entire article Markets and Morality from a Biblical Perspective at http://blog.tifwe.org/markets-morality-from-a-biblical-perspective-part-two/
How do you perceive the free market economic system in relation to your faith? Leave your comments below...
"A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls." ~ Proverbs 25:28
"Pursue your passions!" This is a statement that you will hear from nearly all motivators, pastors, parents, teachers, advisers, mentors, and others preach to people almost daily, as if that’s the magic formula to lifelong happiness and success. Unfortunately, they don’t always tell you that “pursue your passions” is only part of the equation. As important as it is to pursue your passions, it’s equally important to make sure you steer your passions in the right direction.
If passion can be equated to a raging river, purpose is the river banks. Knowing your purpose provides direction and restraint for your passions. Purpose helps to control and contain your vigor and energy. Purpose channels your passions toward meaningful and fruitful ends. Purpose is the discipline that guides your zeal to produce profitable endeavors. Purpose ensures that you have the opportunity to maximize the potential of what your passions can accomplish.
Whether in business, relationships, or life in general, people run into all kinds of trouble when they don’t know how or aren’t able to channel their passions in a positive and profitable direction. These people are like swamps. One big difference between a river and a swamp is that the river has boundaries, which keeps the water flowing as a powerful force. The swamp’s lack of boundaries allows its water to overflow its banks, become stagnant, and emit a foul stench. People love rivers, but very few actually enjoy being near a swamp.
(MORE: Learn more about Passion @ Work Training Workshops)
In the last few years, it’s easy to see that we have had many “swamp creatures” appear in boardrooms, pulpits, the public square, and society overall. They allowed their passions to run rampant, ruining their reputations and causing major collateral damage.
When it comes to your passions, don’t be like a swamp. Instead be like a river that’s purposeful, powerful, and profitable!
How do you channel your passions in the most profitable direction? Leave your comments below...
(MORE: Watch Passion In Action TV live streaming or on demand at www.passioninaction.tv)
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