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Affluent Investor | April 29, 2017

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How Martin Luther Set Off 500 Years of Economic Growth

martin luther

Martin Luther once said:

A true Christian lives and labors on earth not for himself but for his neighbor; Therefore the whole spirit of his life compels him to do even that which he needs not do, but which is profitable and necessary for his neighbor.

As one who is interested in economic history, it is a little known fact that the global economy remained relatively flat until the Protestant Reformation. Not only did the Bible begin to be distributed into the hands of commoners, it set in motion what became known as the protestant work ethic and economic growth began to explode. History shows that the economic growth of the West correlates with the spread and adoption of God’s Word.

Martin Luther believed in the dignity of work and taught wonderful Biblical insights like these. You see, when we love our neighbor, we seek to serve them and find ways to enhance their life.  All good businesses provide products and services that help others in some way. A loving, caring person is much more likely to have the attitude and ideas which can sustain a company than one who is only trying to gain a personal advantage over others.

Proverbs 3:28 says:

Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it’—when you have it with you.

As a follower of Christ, we are not only to love our neighbor in words but also in deeds. We should look for ways to be helpful and attentive to those with whom we interact on a regular basis, not just someone we randomly encounter on the street. You see, when we truly love our neighbor, it is good for us, is good for them, and good for the entire economy.

 

Originally published on Handwriting on the Wall.

Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown, a non-profit business and personal finance policy and educational organization, and author of “The S.A.L.T. Plan. How to Prepare for an Economic Crisis of Biblical Proportions” and “Root of Riches, What if everything you think about money is wrong?”

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