Daily Topic for August 08, 2008
Favoritism is an ugly word and an uglier practice. Do we who know Christ as Lord find ourselves in a position similar to that of Israel in Old Testament times? Knowing they were God’s favored people, they seemed also to believe they were God’s favorite people. For that reason, they felt little or no responsibility to share the blessings of Yahweh with other nations. If we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with our friends and neighbors only, we practice the most serious kind of favoritism-withholding the knowledge of God from those who have never heard.
Dear Father, we want to fulfill our responsibility to all peoples around the world. Teach us to share the gospel as well as our goods..
“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money” (Eccl.5:10, E.S.V.) The one who said this was one of the richest men who ever lived, King Solomon. In India there are 22 million people whose lives and livelihoods intently revolve around the making of money. They are members of the Bania caste who comprise most of the bankers, moneylenders and dealers in groceries and spices. The lessons such as “never give; always bargain and make money” are often learned painfully at young ages, such as an instance when a father beat his young son for giving away his favorite toy.
Most Banias live in the northern part of India, but increasingly their numbers are growing in southern India’s city of Bangalore, referred to as the “Silicon Valley” of India. Business skills are passed down from father to son, and from an early age young children are drilled in math and detailed calculations with the end purpose of winning in money transactions.
In an interview with a Southern Baptist missionary, one Bania shopkeeper declared that “running a business is like worshipping a god.” It has been very difficult to reach the Banias whose obsession and pleasure is making money. The Banias are Hindus, and they worship the gods of wealth who drive their lives but leave them with empty hearts.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray for evangelistic groups targeting the Banias to explore creative venues, using Christian business people to gain the respect and eventually the hearts of the Banias for Christ.-JS