Friday, February 26, 2016

Shopping and the Gospel

I have, from time to time, discussions with Mrs. Bubba about why on earth we bother making things we think have extraordinary beauty and utility when we can get something that looks like a shirt from Wal-Mart, Target, or Kohl's for $10 or less.  It even covers most of the important areas!  How do we, moreover, persuade our children to take up needle and thread--or hand tools, or whatever, when the competition from China and Bangladesh is so fierce?

The first answer, and that from a purely economic perspective, is that the mindset that moves manufacturing to Bangladesh is the same mindset that starts with cotton and ends up with polyester, or that starts with fell seams but ends up with serging, and the like.   If you start with the premiss "cost cutting is your main goal", you will cut costs not just on labor, but on everything--and the garment where there are some non-negotiables will stick out dramatically.

It also strikes me that there is a Gospel connection here.  When I take part in Matthew 28's command to make disciples, I ought to contemplate that the person I'm working with is someone I'm going to interact with for eternity.  What I build into that person is, for better or worse, going to be there for a long, long time.

Let us then contemplate that in light of the products we buy.  If in my shopping, I'm always going for the cheapest....I'm guessing I just might do so as I make disciples, too.  That doesn't mean I always need to buy the most expensive Bible (where's that Gutenberg now?), but it would suggest that we ought to be strategic, and not just cost focused, in our lives as a whole.

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