Saturday, April 27, 2013

When Doing What is Right Costs More (or Why God Would Buy Fair Trade Coffee)

Sometimes it's easy to do the right thing.
     *I pass the recycling center at least twice a week.
     *Thrifting is fun and saves money.

Sometimes it's sorta hard to do the right thing.
     *Tithing even when money is lean should be done.
     *Taking extra time to cook and eat less preservatives is better for my health.

Sometimes it costs more to do the right thing.
     *Fair trade goods cost more, but the workers aren't exploited.
     *Animal products that don't exploit animals cost more.

I value frugality. I can easily do the right thing when it's easy (or even when it's sorta hard), but when it's very hard & costs more, that's when I need a mental pep talk.

Yet, doing the right thing is the correct course of action even when it costs us more. In His Word (the Bible) God built in protection for the poor, widowed/orphans, and *oppressed.* In fact, He is the protection of the oppressed.

Verses referring to people
Psalmists plead for intercession/defense for the oppressed. (Psalm 74:21 and Psalm 82:3)
[It is] better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. Proverbs 16:19
People/a nation are/is urged to do right, seek justice, defend the oppressed, help the fatherless/widows (Isaiah 1:17)

Verses referring to God 
God is a refuge for the oppressed (Psalm 9:9).
God hears/encourages/listens/defends the oppressed. (Psalm 10:17-18)

God works righteousness & justice for the oppressed. (Psalm 103:6)
God upholds the cause of the oppressed, feeds the hungry, and frees prisoners. (Psalm 146:7)
God shows favor to the humble & oppressed. (Proverbs 3:34)

God wants our fasting to loose the chains of injustice and set the oppressed free. (Isaiah 58:6)
God promises to bring light to those who work for the hungry and meet the needs of the oppressed.
(Isaiah 58:10

Verses referring to Jesus

Jesus was oppressed & afflicted (Isaiah 53:7)
Jesus applied this verse to Himself & He fulfilled it: preaching good news to the poor, proclaiming freedom for the prisoners, giving the blind sight, and setting the oppressed free. (Luke 4:18) (Isaiah 61:1-2 and Isaiah 58:6)

God is a just God. He cares for the oppressed, among other people. We are urged to seek justice and defend the oppressed. It seems counterproductive to send money overseas to fight oppression while buying goods that support oppression. Yes it costs more to buy fair trade goods, but by putting fair trade coffee (for instance) in your cart instead of regular coffee, you are taking a stand to fight oppression and to let companies know (as you "vote" with your dollars) that you do not support oppression.

God intercedes for the oppressed. And that is why I am convinced that God would buy Fair Trade Coffee and other fair trade goods.

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