Thursday, June 05, 2014
Take Jesus to the Marketplace
By Rick Blumenberg / @rickblumenberg
Recently I heard an advertisement that said, “We put our customers first because we don’t have shareholders.” Now I have nothing against privately owned businesses, but having stockholders should not mean we treat customers or clients any differently. Jesus Christ didn’t call we who are believers and followers of him to just come to church on Sunday morning. He called us to take our faith into the marketplace, the home, the school and neighborhood and anywhere else we go. If the Christian faith doesn’t work in the marketplace it isn’t worth having.
If we go somewhere that serving Christ is out of place, we need to quietly, but genuinely serve Christ whole-heartedly anyway and pray for opportunities to impact the situation with the love of God. Some of Jesus’ greatest criticism came from those who didn’t want him to associate with “sinners”, but he didn’t let that slow him down a bit. So we need to be in the marketplace, but it should influence how we do business and if our faith is real it will impact how we relate to all the people we meet.
Those businesses led by committed Christians or any other honest person are able to serve both clients and shareholders equally well. We don’t need to choose one over the other. If customers are served well, but the stockholders lose money the customers will lose in the long run. A business must be profitable if it is to survive and reasonable profits are not the least immoral or unchristian. The majority of those stockholders are probably not wealthy businessmen or women and most are not billionaires. They are just working people in all sorts of occupations who have invested their savings and/or their retirement income in a business. Most of them want the company to serve their clients well at a reasonable price so the company will be both long-lasting and profitable.
When Jesus was here in the flesh he never played one group against another, but was emphatic about all of us seeing the value of all people. He is still here today through his Spirit and he lives in the hearts and lives of billions of people who carry his Presence and his values into their daily lives. His message hasn’t changed—people matter! All people—rich and poor, educated and illiterate, red, yellow, black and white. We are all people to him and he loves us every one.
Wherever we go on Monday morning, whether into the kitchen or washroom to prepare food for the family or wash their clothes, or off to Wall Street type areas to run a public or private company, Jesus wants to go with us and work through us to impact the world with the love of God. He can only do that when we give him hands, feet, brains and skills to meet the needs of those around us. Whether we teach school (at home or in the schoolroom) run a business or purchase from one, he can impact the world through us in positive ways if we’ll genuinely give him our lives and follow his lead.
God loves clients and stockholders, as well as all other kinds of people, and thankfully he sent Jesus to save us all and Jesus sent his Spirit to live in us so we can be Jesus wherever we go.
Go! Be Jesus! Change the world for good!
I’m Rick Blumenberg and that’s “My View from Tanner Creek”.