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Are you familiar with the Old Testament principle of gleaning? It is stated in Leviticus 23:22.

"When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap all the way to the edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the foreign resident; I am the Lord your God."

Landowners, even poor farmers were commanded to take less profit to help the poor and the stranger. The Old Testament book of Ruth paints a vivid picture of gleaning in action.

This is unique among religions. Religions tend to favor the rich and powerful, those who can earn or buy or deserve salvation. But the God of the Bible sides with the poor and disenfranchised. By the gospel we must come to Him as beggars. He receives the spiritually destitute.

In a talk at The 1974 Lausanne conference on World Evangelisation Francis Schaeffer said,

"The Bible does clearly teach the right of property, but both the Old and The New Testaments put a tremendous stress on the compassionate use of your property. If at each place where the employer/owner was a Bible believing Christian, the world could see that less profit was being taken out so that the workers could have appreciably more than the going rate of pay, the gospel would have been better proclaimed than if the profits were the same as the world took and then large endowments be given to missions and other projects."

Okay, how do we apply this principle to our lives? First, I think it is a serious beginning to recognize this truth and start asking the question. How can you apply it in your situation?

And there is a possibility that this blog will be read by some of you who have employees. You could begin asking God to show you how to bring this about.

Others of us ought to affirm companies that pay their employees more than the going rate. I do not know their motivation but the In-N-Out Burgers’ website claims that cook/managers in their restaurants can earn up to $120,000 a year. They need to be held up as a model.

The owners of Hobby Lobby are clear about the motivation of Christian principles in raising the minimum wage of full time employees to $14 an hour. I would like to see companies who do this sort of thing publicly honored. Most of us do not have a large soap box. But you influence more people than you think. I did a little research to verify these figures. But in both cases I was given the information by people who did not have a greater platform than friends and relatives.

All of us relate in small ways to wage earners. For instance, how do you tip in a restaurant. Do you leave a tip for the ladies who clean your motel room on a trip?

I have increased what I tip and not just when the service is especially good. I tip well because I know my waitress might be a single mother struggling to raise her children. I tip because I know that worker works long hours with little compensation, respect, or appreciation. I tip well because I remember that I did nothing to deserve the most important thing in my life. I often ask a waiter if we can pray for him as we pray over our meal. I tip well in hope of removing barriers to the gospel. What can you do that will improve the lives of people who need what you can give?

 

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