My favorite verse in this chapter is verse 5: “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” I’m not sure, but I think the amplified version would add, “and after a whole year of having him at home bringing her happiness, she might send him off to war herself.”
Just kidding, but this chapter does provide wonderful guidance on how to live in peace and generosity with our neighbors. From treating the poor with kindness and concern for their well-being to treating your employees well, this chapter is filled with wisdom.
As we consider issues facing our culture today, this chapter provides a mindset that is timeless. As Jesus summarized the law and the prophets, we are to love God with all that we are and to love our neighbors as ourselves. This chapter gives some examples of what that looks like: being mindful of someone’s ability to pay back a loan and not taking away their source of livelihood, or leaving something behind for those in need when harvesting, or paying workers sufficiently to provide for them and their families.
Imagine if all the businesses operated by individuals who claim the name of Christ operated by these principles. Imagine if those of us who fill churches each Sunday embraced this mindset of generosity and caring for our neighbors the other six days of the week.