Book Review: “The Covenantal Structure of Christian Economics” (Gary North, 2014) Part 13

  1. This is why Paul tells men to stick with their callings. “Let every man abide in his own calling wherein he was called” (I Cor. 7:20). To use a common English-language phrase, stick to your knitting. The idea here is that God places a person in an economic position in order to teach him the rigors of self-discipline and service. He gets good at what he does. God renews this contract, year by year. This service refers to a person’s calling: the most important thing he can do in which he is most difficult to replace. In pursuing his calling, a man may get a better job offer. He should accept it, as long as it does not interfere with his calling. So, Paul said, a slave who is offered liberty should take it (v. 21). This judicial liberty means greater economic responsibility. He is no longer owned. He no longer works as a legal intermediary.

He becomes “his own man,” judicially speaking. But every man is a servant of God and other men economically. There is no autonomy. There is always action on behalf of someone else. When God has given you a unique calling, you should not abandon it. You should pursue it. God renews his contract with you for a reason: to help you enjoy the blessings of compound growth—from victory unto victory (p.156).

Every person should apply themselves to their work, and be as good at it as possible, to maximise their economic return. God has promised that He will reward this: “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men” (Prov.18:16). People should thus always find the job that they like, that they are good at, and they feel called to. And in this, they can hope and pray for the blessing of God.

Almost inevitably, this will lead to specialisation. Today, there are few people who are simply carpenters. Most will find the niche that they like and are suited to, and where there is maximum economic reward.

The Bible even applies this to married women: “She considers a field and buys it; form her earnings she plants a vineyard” (Prov.31:16).

I am a teacher, but I’m not really that interested in classroom teaching. I’m far more interested in helping families that are using Distance Education, and other forms of homeschooling to educate their child. My wife and I homeschooled our children; now we’re helping others to do so. I like doing it, I think it’s the way of the future, and I get paid reasonably to do it. Why would I want to change?

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