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Business profit and the Parable of the Minas - Kevin Ring

By Kevin Ring - “The Parable of the Minas” (Luke 19:12-27) teaches a number of principles that should shape how profit is considered in the Business as Mission context.

1. Profit is good - During the settling of accounts, the master responds positively to the servants who had earned profit by: Saying “Well done!” – the master views their efforts as good. Calling the servants “good” and “trustworthy” – the master expected his servants to pursue profit.
2. Profit is not the motivation. The servants’ reward for their efforts in earning a profit is their master’s praise and increased responsibilities. It can be assumed that increased responsibilities carries with it monetary gain. However, this should be viewed as an additional benefit. It is clear in the parable that the power to give and take away financial resources belongs solely to the master (as evident in the command to take the one mina away from the wicked servant and give it to the servant who earned ten).

3. Ability to earn profit is not universal - As Christians, we cannot assume we all are equally capable of achieving the same results.

The two good servants do not earn the same amount: one earns ten times what he was entrusted with; the other earns five times what he was entrusted with.

The wicked servant is chided for not transferring his mina to bankers; allowing them to use the financial resources while earning interest for the master.

4. We have an obligation to earn a profit. At the beginning of the parable the master says, “Put this money to work.” Wicked servants disobey this command out of rebellious fear. Good servants seek to multiply what they have been given thereby multiplying the work that can be done.

Money is a resource provided by the Lord to facilitate Christian work in the world. We are obliged to use it wisely and morally, seeking its increase in order to extend our effectiveness in fulfilling our calling.

Kevin Ring is a thought leader and researcher for Business as Mission and the church. You can find him nlogging at his blog, Kingdom Strategist.

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posted by Justin Forman | 4.22.2009 - 7:54 AM



I really agree with your key points.

So often, we as Christians do not understand those basic principles.

Profits are necessary, not the focus, and not always equal. Well done.

Kent Humphreys
commented by Anonymous kent humphreys, 12:53 PM  

Thanks Kent for your kind words.

I think this is a critical issue for Christian business leaders to work through especially as we break through the historic barriers of the sacred/secular divide and a "profit is evil" mentality that has hindered marketplace ministry. It would be irresponsible to let the pendulum come full swing and endorse liberalism when it comes for-profit business activity.

Profit is amoral. People are not. It is the condition of my own heart that will dictate whether or not profit (or the lack thereof) is a blessing or a curse.

Thank you for the work you do training and equipping leaders in this space.

commented by Anonymous Kevin Ring, 2:18 PM  

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