Today’s reading is 2 Corinthians 12:1-13:14.
“Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children” (2 Corinthians 12:14).
I know Paul is dealing with his apostleship and the issue of receiving financial support from the Corinthians (which he did have a right to). But I can’t help but see a principle for relationships in the church.
I’m cheap. Actually, I’m not cheap. I just don’t want to spend much money on things I don’t like to spend money on so I can spend more money on things I do like to spend money on. Thus, I’m always looking for a deal. I always want to cut costs. My favorite line is, “Hey, do you have a discount for preachers?” I especially look at brethren who are in business and say, “Hey, what’s your brother-in-Christ discount? (wink, wink)” It is as if I think that since someone is a Christian, they ought to cut me a deal.
Now, I don’t have a problem with people giving discounts for any reason they want to. And it is not wrong to do the best we can to save money and cut costs. I’m not saying it is wrong to ask for a discount. But, I have to wonder, do I ever say, “Hey, since you are a brother in Christ, I want to pay you a little extra for this service”?
I have to ask myself whether I’m seeking the person, or what is theirs. Paul meant that his biggest concern was their souls’ salvation, not getting their money. Am I just excited that someone is a brother or sister in Christ or am I looking at that relationship as a ticket to good deals and more money?
Yes, yes, we may want to give special discounts and consideration to brethren, but I need to quit thinking that is owed. The laborer is worthy of his wages whether the person he is working for is a Christian or not.
I don’t want to set any hard and fast rules here. After all, as a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist, I know there is way more to all this discounting and selling than just a relationship in Christ. I just need to think about how I’m relating to my brethren in the business world.
Keep the faith and keep reading,
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