Today I am particularly thankful for the business owners, restauranteurs, landlords, and entrepreneurs I’ve talked with over the past few days. They give me hope.
They give me hope because of their compassion and sacrificial posture as they reallocate or liquidate assets and cut their pay so they can care for their employees a bit longer. They give me hope because they are weighing decisions in light of their confession that Jesus is King. They give me hope as they strive to apply the “one-another commands” of Scripture. They give me hope because of their understanding of liberty as citizens of God’s kingdom whose supreme law is love. They give me hope because they believe that self-emptying is the most faithful form of discipleship. They give me hope because they are pushing against the anxiety and narrative of fear so they can listen to the wise counsel of medical experts and exercise godly, patient, and trusting wisdom, rather than hurried and impulsive action.
Despite the hard times, the anxieties, and the heavy weight they carry–payroll, non-negotiable contracts, lease agreements, customer base, inventory, a life-long dream and countless hours of building and sacrificing–I am thankful for how God is forming them as business owners and entrepreneurs of His kingdom. I am thankful for their witness to the never-failing, never-faltering, never-fickle reign of God. I am thankful for their example of what it looks like to pledge total allegiance to King Jesus and follow the God of Calvary rather than the god of economy.
Will they be marked on society’s ledger as practical? Maybe not. Will they be seen as “winners” once this is over? Maybe not. But whose ledger matters, and what does it mean to be a winner, after all? The question I believe that’s worth asking is, will their treasure be stored in heaven and on that Great Day hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant?” I think so, at least that’s what the text says.
Their hope gives me hope.
Next time I find myself singing the verse, “My hope is built in nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness,” I will remember them, because in light of their vocation and position of power, the fruit they bore in a culture of greed during these perilous times will make them faithful witnesses to the song.
To those of you reading this who fit this description but I do not know, thank you. Lead us in these strange economic times.
Bear witness to your King.
Your neighbor needs you to.
The Church needs you to.