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CU Alumna and Hamilton Cast Member Finds Identity in Christ By Ashley LaLonde Growing up in the heart...
August 14, 2014

A Look at the True Potential of Profit

Christians are called to help their fellow man, no matter the circumstance. This seems an easy enough rubric to follow: just help those people you see in need, right? True enough, but the real challenge is discovering the most effective way to reach others. Each person has their own calling, and therefore a different method with which to serve those around us most effectively. 

Dr. Anne Bradley profiles Bill Gates’ wealth acquisition and philanthropy to illustrate the point that reaching a certain success first can greatly assist efforts to help others. After discovering his love for computers in high school, Gates has become one of the wealthiest men in the world, donating in excess of $28 billion to various charities. Profit can make philanthropy possible and, as Bradley notes, if we are genuinely interested in helping people, we may consider Bill Gates’ approach.

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Some fear that excessive profit can result of greed or selfishness, but that particular pitfall can be easily avoided with proper caution and discipline. All profit is in fact an indication that the needs of customers, partners, or dependents are being met. 

Gates was not shy in his pursuit of his passion for computers and innovation. Rather, he recognized that his skills were a valuable solution to a shortcoming, and he set about to meet that need.

The argument could be made that pursuing profit is not only indicative of charitable activity, but necessary, if we are to serve others through our talents.

We create wealth as we invest our resources in productive ways to create products valued by consumers in the market. From that profit-seeking activity we can then invest in others philanthropically.

Philanthropy is a logical extension of our calling as Christians: to be fruitful and multiply, to be faithful with our resources, and to serve others well.

By earning profit, we can, as Christians, more effectively engage our world. In the pursuit of profit we all become better aware of the most effective ways we can serve each other with our unique God-given talents and creativity. Through profit we are enabled and empowered to use our excess resources to engage our world philanthropically.

For Dr. Anne Bradley’s complete take on the subject, visit the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics blog.