Obligations

“And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they marveled at Him.” Mark 12:17

A while back a I was talking to one of my friends about the economy and how difficult it was for people to get and keep jobs. My friend was talking about how his grandfather and his father and uncles had worked for decades for the same companies but today workers change their jobs every few years and employers at times let hundreds or even thousands of employees go so they can maintain profit margins for investors and pay for bonuses for executives.

As our conversation continued, observed that what had changed was the mutual sense of responsibility and obligation that existed between employer and employees. In the past it seemed that employers understood that they had created, and encouraged the continuation of, a situation where workers and their families were dependent on them. These employers, and the corporations they ran, seem to understand that this dependent relationship they had created obligated them to maintain the stability of that situation over the long term. Employees also understood that to a lesser degree their employer was dependent upon them to be stable, productive workers and this obligated them to be stable, loyal employees.

I understand that in many ways working situations in the past were far from perfect These imperfections, however, don’t negate my point that because both employees and employers understood that they were both obligated and benefited by the arrangement it was able to persisted for decades.

Today people don’t have the same sense of obligation and this is part of the reason why the economy is the way it is.

Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” I believe that Jesus is here telling us to fulfill our obligations. Some of those are to God, some are to national leaders, some to employers, some to employees, and some are to family, friends and church.

We’ve all agreed to situations where people have trusted us enough to become dependent upon us. Let’s not betray that trust.

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