Friday, May 08, 2009

Free Markets (28) - Generosity Everywhere

Caring for the poor is not just a virtue for Christians. God expects everyone who has prospered to share with those in need. This is even more urgent during tough times.

A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
People curse the man who hoards grain,
but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell (Prov 11:25,26).
During a famine, people who hoard grain might get a better price, but they will lose the blessing of God. Sellers of the basics of life must not take advantage of people in desperate straits.

The same applies when a poor person is looking for work.
Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns. Pay him his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and is counting on it. Otherwise he may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin (Deut 24:14-15).
In a free market, a poor and needy person will accept very low wages because they desperate. God warns employers not take advantage of people who are frantic for work.

People with economic resources must not abuse those who are in difficult circumstances. Those who ignore God’s concern for the poor place themselves under a curse. When people who have prospered stop being generous to the poor and needy, they bring a curse on their land, which harms everyone.

Christian should challenge everyone with plenty to be generous to those in need, but they will only have credibility, if Christians are leading the way in compassion. If Christian prophets are calling on kings and government to remedy poverty with force, they will be ignored.

Buying and selling in free markets is better than theft and force, but not as good love and compassion. Free markets are better than theft and force, but they will not produce a perfect world. More love and compassion is what the world really needs.

See this full series at

Markets and Morality
Markets and Evil
Markets and Efficiency
Markets Add Value
Markets and Equality

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