Listen to today’s devo!

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” (James 4:13)

Expanded Passage: James 4:13

I teach business at Southern Wesleyan University. The courses taught are mostly the same as those I took in my business administration degrees at secular universities: human resource management, organizational behavior, business communication, etc. The topics are similar, but the focus is different. We teach business principles, but with a Christian ethic of development and collaboration.

James’ language is a bit toned down in the NIV. The words for carrying on business and making money are a bit harsher in the original. He warned the ones who say, “Let’s go to this city for a year and exploit for gain.” James wasn’t saying that doing business is bad. My students are pursuing a vocation in business that will allow them to participate in the kingdom among people who are far from God. It’s a calling. James was challenging believers to the higher calling of doing business without exploiting people for personal gain.

Using people for personal gain isn’t just an issue for people in business. We could all be just as guilty of taking advantage of others through whatever vocation we’ve chosen if we aren’t drawing near to God (4:8) and humbling ourselves before him (4:10). Instead of going, exploiting, and making money, God’s wisdom encourages us to focus on the kingdom, collaborate with others, and listen to him.

Do whatever God calls you to do.

Priscilla Hammond is an ordained pastor and associate professor in the Benson School of Business at Southern Wesleyan University (SC).

© 2024 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.