Daily Devotional: Am I Buying and Selling Violence, Oppression, Freedom, or Grace?

williamwilberforce1Ezekiel 7:10-15, 23b-27

This snippet of text does not give me the full context for Ezekiel’s speech, but what stands out to me is the call for the buyer not to rejoice nor the seller to be proud. It’s not clear to me if the image of buying and selling is part of some extended metaphor, but I notice how they are told not to rejoice because of how whatever activity they are a part of is connected with violence done to their neighbors, violence that falls under the judgment of God.

I have to admit as I read this I am not particularly mindful of the impact my purchases make upon others, and this reading makes me wonder about that.

williamwilberforce2I remember reading how in William Wilberforce’s day, as people began to come to an understanding of the human cost of slavery in the British empire, how individuals began to boycott common products produced by slave labor like sugar, coffee, tobacco. Learning the horrible condition of slaves and their treatment, these individuals decided they could not rejoice to buy or sell products bought out of human violence, human blood being spilled, human pain, & a loss of human freedom.

take side with justiceI remember too the long history of boycotts in the name of Civil Rights, from the bus boycott in Montgomery to boycotts related the Apartheid in the ‘90’s.

This passage calls me to become more mindful about my purchasing, my selling, to realize that profit and the free market cannot be used to justify violence or neglect of other people, or of this earth.

This is an uncomfortable challenge there, because I am just beginning to discern how to raise my own awareness. I’d love to hear from you about what best practices help you raise your own awareness of the ways in which your buying or selling either helps bring life and liberation toward others & God’ earth, and ways it brings violence and neglect to others and God’s earth.

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