I Kings 17:9-16
There has been recent controversy about patronizing “black owned” businesses. I’m not condoning one race over another, yet I am saying that we, as Christians, should try to support other Christians who are in business (we support the ‘sinner’ each and every day – [OK. If the retailer isn’t a ‘saint’ then what is he/she?]).
In New Mexico, I published a “Christian Businessmen’s Directory”. It was difficult to find people who were willing to “own-up” to serving Christ and then getting them to invest in the advertising venture. The magazines were distributed at no cost to anyone, and especially to church attendees. The point was to encourage customers of Christlikeness to engage with each other.
In February, my church of a couple thousand members was offered the opportunity to visit a couple (4) of Christian businesses within a months time frame and receive a little discount or gift within a certain time frame. After visiting two of the businesses, it was hurtful to discover that each place had only four visitors from my home church (Oh, and I haven’t forgotten the “small local theater” group or the CD launch during tropical depression Fay).
The reason that this touched my heart is because I was once a retail shop owner who would have loved the support of “church family, friends & acquaintances” (read “Bent But Not Broken” by Victoria Thomas Poller).
You may not need every product or service supplied by all Christian retailers (yet you never know when you may need a good plumber, butcher, baker, candlestick maker, mechanic, domestic engineer, author, or plastic surgeon), but if you could stop by that person’s business and make a minimal purchase and tell someone else about your experience; then our Christian brothers and sisters will be blessed by you, and you will be an agent in fulfilling the scripture of Luke 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” It’s a win/win for everyone and remember that you may decide to branch out on your own (nevertheless with the prompting of the Holy Spirit) and you’ll desire others to stop by and buy.
Trust – Believe – Receive