Thursday, April 17, 2008


I remember one of my Old Testament professors saying in class one day that God cares where we buy things. I wasn't totally sure what he meant by that saying. During my time in seminary a lot of small farmers were going out of business while large corporations bought out their land. The small farmer couldn't compete with the corporation.

My professor said that God cares about where we buy things and that a society would be judeged on how it treated the least among them. He was a scholar primarily in the Psalms and Prophets. The prophets often brought words of judgement against Israel becuase of their disregard for God and their neighbor.

Buying from a corporation at the expense of a small business owner is not loving our neighbor. The way most large corporations work is the top few become rediculously wealthy while the most remain less than wealthy, often their growth is at the expense of small business.

Lately as I have been making purchases I have been thinking about who I am buying from. It has cost me more money to buy from smaller companies and knowing who I am buying from. The American way is to get the cheapest price regardless of the social cost.

A great man, John Wolman considered the source of where he bought things from and vowed not to buy from goods produced by slave labor (he lived before the civil war). He felt it was not loving his neighbor.

I think we are challenged in our buying to think about the impact of how we spend our money. Is it consistent with loving God and loving our neighbor? Is it good stewardship of the Earth and the resources given to us?

I have come to agree with my professor some eight years later, God cares about how we spend our money..

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