By Chuck Bentley
Martin Luther once said, “A true Christian lives and labors on earth not for himself but for his neighbor. Therefore the whole spirit of his life impels him to do even that which he needs not do, but which is profitable and necessary for his neighbor.”
As one who is interested in economic history, I find it interesting that the global economy remained relatively flat until the Protestant Reformation. Not only did the Bible begin to be distributed into the hands of regular people like you and me, it set in motion what became known as the protestant work ethic. At that time, economic growth began to explode. History shows that the economic growth of the West correlates with the spread and adoption of God’s Word.
Martin Luther believed in the dignity of work and taught wonderful biblical insights like these. You see, when we love our neighbors, we seek to serve them and find ways to enhance their lives. All good businesses provide products and services that help others in some dimension of their lives. A loving, caring person is much more likely to have the attitude and ideas which can sustain a company than one who is trying to gain only a personal advantage over others.
Proverbs 3:28 says, “Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it’—when you have it with you.” As followers of Christ, we are to love our neighbors in words but also in deeds. We should look for ways to be helpful and attentive to those with whom we interact on a regular basis, not just someone we randomly encounter on the street. When we truly love our neighbors, it is good for us, good for them, and good for the entire economy.
Originally posted 2/24/2015.
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