We don’t just honor God and love our neighbor through acts of charity, we can honor God and love our neighbor through acts of commerce as well.
This statement usually gets some pushback, and I understand the visceral reaction. Many of us have mentally abdicated the marketplace to the “secular” sphere. We’ve seen the broken expression of the business world and surrendered to the caricature that it’s ultimately just a playground for the greedy, the self-absorbed, and the power-hungry.
Personally, I’m tired of letting sinful abuse define original design. If the Gospel truly redeems and resurrects all things (Colossians 1:19-20), then why do we give sin the defining say in something as transformational as economics, business, and the marketplace?
Bono, U2’s poetic and influential front man, made some powerful statements on this topic in a recent World Magazine interview. After years of championing only charity-based activism, a more seasoned Bono has awakened to the Gospel-redeemed potential of the marketplace, too.
“I ended up as an activist in a very different place from where I started. I thought that if we just redistributed resources, then we could solve every problem. I now know that’s not true…The off-ramp out of extreme poverty is, ugh, commerce, it’s entrepreneurial capitalism.”
We are huge believers in charitable giving here at The Stone Table. The Gospel calls us to be radically generous people! But commerce is not the opposite of generosity. We can impact God’s Kingdom through the marketplace, too.
We love to talk about the Great Commandment and Great Commission opportunity our daily marketplace jobs provide us – to honor God, love our neighbor, and proclaim Jesus through the work of our hands. But if you don’t believe me, perhaps U2’s Bono can help you find what you’re looking for?
Accelerating the Great Commission through the Marketplace,
Erik Cooper | The Stone Table