A Good Thing


It's what causes the waitress to serve you well. Part of why you tip her well.


It's why the chef strives to prepare good food for you.


It's why the owner maintains a pleasant atmosphere for you.


It's why the drivers make deliveries on time.


It's why the suppliers compete to provide quality products.


Selfish is not necessarily a bad thing if it is rational/moral selfishness. We all know what the self is. Itís you. Adding add ď-ishĒ to it simply means of, relating to or being you! So everything you think, say or do is selfish. So the question is not whether or not you are selfish but whether or not your selfishness is rational and moral.


God is all for profit and selfishness. As long as they are the result of rational and moral actions, consider the cases we just considered. In each case a selfish profit was involved.And there was nothing wrong.


Now letís look at some scriptures.

*†† (Luke 10:7 NIV)Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

*†† (1 Tim 5:18 NIV)For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages."

Working to make a profit is selfish and rational and moral. A man that doesnít support his family is condemned as is a man that wants to eat without working.

*†† (Lev 25:35-37 NIV)"'If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you. {36} Do not take interest of any kind from him, but fear your God, so that your countryman may continue to live among you. {37} You must not lend him money at interest or sell him food at a profit.

Acts of charity are selfish, rational and moral as long as they meet the criteria just listed. Why? Because, it is in your best interest to follow scripture. If you insisted on profiting from your brotherís misfortune then it would be a bad selfishness! Neither rational nor moral.

*†† (Prov 14:22-24 NIV)Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness. {23} All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. {24} The wealth of the wise is their crown, but the folly of fools yields folly.

*†† {19} For he has oppressed the poor and left them destitute; he has seized houses he did not build. {20} "Surely he will have no respite from his craving; he cannot save himself by his treasure.

*†† (Prov 21:5-6 NIV)The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. {6} A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.

*†† (Isa 44:10 NIV)Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit him nothing?

Ill-gotten gains will not take you where you want to go. Such gains come from a bad selfishness. Such gains are not rational nor are they moral. Profit is not bad but profit not earned is bad with the obvious exception of a proper gift!

*†† (2 Cor 2:17 NIV)Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

Freely you have received, freely give. You have received a gift meant to be shared. It is more blessed to give than to receive. Be selfish, give. Itís moral and rational!

*†† (Prov 3:13-14 NIV)Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, {14} for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.

*†† (Prov 31:18 NIV)She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

We live by trading. Trading is a means by which both parties make a profit. I value what you are giving me more than what I am giving you. Likewise, you value what I am giving you more than what you are giving me. The necessary condition is, ďFreedom.Ē The social implementation of this principle is a free market. That means nobody, not even the government, has a right to interfere with our trade as long as it is made honestly without coercion. There is a name for such a system, such as was intended by our founders: Laissez faire capitalism. Crony capitalism is not capitalism at all because government interferes with the principle of free trade necessary for Laissez faire capitalism. Government is in the business of coercion not persuasion!

*†† (Phil 2:3-5 KJV)Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. {4} Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. {5} Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

*†† (Phil 2:3-5 NIV)Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. {4} Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. {5} Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

I think King James is the better reading because the term selfish is so misused and misunderstood. Basically the verse is telling us not to be coerced (Strife) or be bad selfish (Vainglory) in our actions. While providing for you and your family donít let an opportunity to do good escape. (Gal 6:9-10 NIV)Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. {10} Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.


God never made you to be another manís slave. But He does want you to help, but freely not through force. Remember last week we looked at this verse. (Gen 4:9 NIV)Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?" The answer to Cainís question was clearly no. Cain would never ask a question that would clearly indict him! But most people think the answer is, yes. But, if I am your keeper then who is my keeper? And who is the keeper of my keeper? This does not mean we should not try to help when it is reasonable to do so.


Here is the last word on profit and clearly it shows the value of profit. (Mark 8:36 RSV)For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?