I’m sure the title of the article caught your attention!
My question to you, as well as to myself, is why does that imperative – “Don’t be generous. Be demanding.” – cause such a negative emotional reaction within us?
Most Americans who commit time, talent and treasure to battling against the abortion industry are faith-based people, so I suspect that imperative contradicts what Jesus asks of us in Luke 6: 35:
“But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.” Luke 6:35
Right there, “…lend expecting nothing back…,” is a powerful demand to us from Jesus.
But I wonder if Jesus means “…lend expecting nothing back…,” in all situations in life?
“It’s Not Personal, It’s Just Business”
You’ve likely heard before, or used some variation of it yourself, the statement, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.”
I know I’ve used it many times in my career.
Of course, it’s a lie in one sense.
All business ultimately is about people, and therefore, personal.
In my mind, a business person who uses that statement to justify business decisions that objectively hurt other people is not a good business person.
However, in a very different sense, I agree with the statement, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.”
One Plus One Equals Three
In what sense?
In the sense of a capitalistic, win-win transactions, business system.
If you and I enter into a transaction, and as a result of that transaction, we are both measurably better off because of that transaction, then value has been created that didn’t exist before the transaction.
One plus one generates a result that is greater than two.
That is the “magic” of capitalism.
However, if you “…lend expecting nothing back…” perhaps the recipient of your gift measurably benefits from the transaction, but you don’t.
True, you may get emotional and spiritual benefits, but not measurable return on the gift you gave.
What’s the problem with that?
Let me demonstrate the problem by asking you to think about what would happen in the following scenario.
Imagine a for-profit business in a very competitive market and you, and other investors, decide to provide that business with operating investment capital and you say to the leaders of that business, “Hey, we’re offering this money to you and we expect nothing back.”
I think you know how most business leaders would respond to that offer – yes, we’ll take that deal!
But with no expectations of performance by the leadership team of that business, what do you anticipate their business results would end up looking like compared to their competitors?
Likely not good.
The extremely generous giving by you, and other investors, resulted in sub-optimal outcomes in the market.
I submit to you that this exact dynamic plays out as the rule, not the exception, in the financial giving by pro-life philanthropists to pro-life pregnancy centers.
We’ll dive into that further in the next article.