With all the recent discussion around boycotting Chic-Fil-A, it’s probably a good time to stop and reflect on how we spend our money. Does it matter to God where we spend our dime? How much impact can we have with our dollars?
Perhaps loosening or tightening your purse strings won’t single-handedly solve any world problem, but money is still a powerful tool. Spending habits are a tangible way to express support or disagreement with a particular cause. You can even say that it is an aspect of personal devotion and spiritual discipline. Where you spend your money does make a difference.
Following are some guidelines that will help you figure out where to toss your change.
1. Do your research
Money is one of the most importance resources we have. That’s why everyone is trying to get a piece of it. Once it leaves your hands; however, corporations can do almost anything they want with it. If this fact disturbs you, you owe it to yourself to figure what your favorite stores do with the cash that you give them. Where do you shop regularly? What are your favorite brands? Research what the companies who make your favorite things do with your money. If they offend your conscience, make different decisions.
2. Realize the Limitations
Big corporations have weaved a tangled web across our society. The reason why they can get so big with relatively no challenge is because they are engrained in the production and transmission of goods that we use in everyday life.
Truth is, unless you manage to relocate to the woods and live off the land, you’ll have trouble steering your Benjamins clear of every societal evil. Let’s say you decide to boycott Chic-Fil-A. There are plenty of other places to eat (and you could always, perish the thought, eat at home). But, you have to drive to get to work, or take public transportation. To operate a car or bus you need gasoline. It’s pretty much public knowledge that oil companies are fleecing the public and are involved in environmental destruction. If you can’t afford to buy an electric car, what are you going to do? Not go to work?
We can’t avoid everything. Do the best you can, but don’t condemn yourself about what you can’t do.
3. Realize the Options
The flip side of this is that we do have options. Perhaps not in every area of life, but certainly a lot. If I want a pair of slacks, I have a multitude of places where I can purchase them. If a particular brand is attached to practices that I don’t agree with, there are other companies that make slacks.
If where your money goes is that important, do the legwork to figure out how to get your needs met without offending your beliefs. Perhaps you’ll have to forgo luxury brands, but your beliefs will be intact.
4. Donate to causes that you support
Unfortunately, Christians in America are known for what they disagree with rather than what they are passionate for. Many people don’t know what Christians actually agree with. Don’t let that be the case for your money. Give generously to the causes that you are passionate about.