Business and Religion: Choosing God

“In business, the custom of the trade must be understood by both contracting parties, else it can have no place, either as law or excuse, with the disciple of Jesus. The man to whom business is one thing and religion another is not a disciple. If he refuses to harmonize them by making his business religion, he has already chosen Mammon; if he thinks not to settle the question, it is settled. The most futile of all human endeavors is, to serve God and Mammon. The man who makes the endeavor betrays his Master in the temple and kisses Him in the garden; takes advantage of Him in the shop, and offers Him ‘divine service’ on Sunday. His very church-going is but a further service of Mammon.” (George MacDonald, Life Essential: The Hope of the Gospel, pg. 82)

In one children’s story I read many years ago, one of the many versions of the story of the baker’s dozen, the woman tells the baker, “You’ll never get rich because you are greedy.”  Christians are always faced with this choice and not just as customers.  Everyone of us who works also faces the same idea in the phrase “a day’s work for a day’s wages.”   Do we give to others what they are paying us to do?  In a capitalist world we are always facing this challenge no matter which side of the exchange we are on.