Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Noble Act of Creating Jobs (Kevin Grenier)

The following is a guest post from Kevin Grenier.

It is a common stereotype that corporations are greedy businesses and that truly noble work is done by serving the poor. Mother Teresa isn’t expected in the board room. She’s out on the street giving food to the homeless.

What if we have it all wrong?


What if sustaining the poor is the less noble act?


Maybe, rather than helping the poor make it another day, the real God-honoring activities are those of the businessmen – those people who provide work to us so that we are not poor, but can earn a living. Granted, business can be used for good or ill, just as anything can. But maybe business has the potential to be used for far greater good than mercy could ever hope for. Maybe a business whose goal is to help those who can’t work to learn how to work is a far nobler task than the soup kitchen.


The Bible says that if a man won’t work, we shouldn’t feed him. Most mercy organizations side-step this verse because their clients are incapable of holding a job. What they miss in this verse is that true mercy creates jobs that even the least among us can do. If we simply feed a person, we force him or her to purchase their food at the cost of their dignity and value to society. If we offer them work – even the most basic tasks – we affirm their value and they earn their living.


But don’t be fooled. It takes far more effort to create a job and then help someone get and keep that job than it does to hand out a lunch. I guess the question we each must ask ourselves is whether the homeless and broken in our society are worth the extra effort or not. I’m glad there are organizations that have decided that they are.


Kevin Grenier is a writer and speaker living in Castle Rock, Colorado who blogs at Gathering His People. He has spent over 15 years in inner-city ministry and is a friend of Bud's Warehouse.

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