When you are engaged, as we are, in seeking to build true Christian community, the first thing that will happen is that an economy will start to take shape. And this means, in its turn, that disputes will arise. Most of the gnarly disputes will be about business or finances. This is borne out in my experience, and in line with a survey we sent out to the members of our church community. We asked, for example, how many of them had had business deals with fellow church members go south on them, and more than a few had.

Test your heart first. When you are thinking about a business opportunity with another member of the church, ask yourself this kind of question first. If your first thought is that because so-and-so is a fellow church member he might cut you a deal, then I would plead with you as your pastor to go do business with the pagans. You’ll fit in better there. That’s how you can best maintain the peace and purity of the church. How many Christians think something like this? “Ooo-he has that little fish in his shop window. I think I’ll add 10% to whatever he invoices. After all, he’s a brother.”

And when the attitude is right, there is another thing I would ask you to include. Too many Christians think that regeneration, or good intentions, or having a nice personality will somehow make your memory perfect, or will prevent you from getting hit by a truck. Suppose you get hit by that truck, and your heirs and your partners’ heirs are all trying to figure out what that handshake fifteen years ago meant. So write it down. This does not make you suspicious and unloving. God loves us perfectly, and He still wrote it down.

Not only that, but neither does regeneration magically bestow craft competence. Your salvation is by grace through faith, lest anyone should boast (Eph. 2:8-9). But kids, your grade point average does not work that way. Adults, neither does your business work that way. Your vocation in the world is found in the next verse. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). And good works here most manifestly includes good work.

Good work is work. Even though the grace of God underlies all things, including all our work, our work remains work. Your ability to carry a load of bricks over to the build site is ultimately the grace of God, but the actual carrying is work. The bricks are not moved before you get there “by grace through faith.”

— Douglas Wilson, Gashmu Saith It